Are you debating whether to “do” Easter at all this year? The question may seem odd, but many people do face this dilemma every spring. It isn’t a question of whether you really want to send gifts to your family members. It’s more an issue of practicality. If you live in the Calgary area and have relatives spread all over the country, you may be wondering if it’s a good idea to send out your holiday gifts by mail. You may have genuine concerns as to whether an Easter basket may reach your relatives in time to be of any use to them. If so, you should know that a new system is in place to assure success.
There is Never a Need to Do Without a Festive Easter Celebration
You should never be in a position where you are forced to contemplate the thought of doing without a festive celebration of each and every holiday that comes along. The Easter celebration is certainly no exception to this rule. You should never feel that the cost of sending a timely seasonal gift to your friends and loved ones is beyond the scope of your budget. On the contrary, even if the people nearest and dearest to your heart live well outside the borders of Canada, you should still feel able to send them a reminder that you are thinking of them.
Sending Easter Gifts to Far Away Relatives is Easier Than Ever
It’s actually easier than ever to send your Easter basket to friends and relatives anywhere in the United States and Canada. There’s a whole new system in place that will allow you to make use of the latest technology to ensure a same day delivery in many areas. Even if your basket is going all the way down to the southern United States, it will still reach your relatives in a safe, efficient, and timely manner.
What Makes an Easter Basket a Holiday Themed Success Story?
There are a number of important factors that make an Easter basket from a commonplace item into a true holiday success. For one thing, it’s obviously the thought that counts. You have clearly taken the time, made the effort, and spent the money to remind your friends and loved ones that they are on your mind and near to your heart. Beyond this, there are certain aesthetic qualities that a successful Easter basket needs to exhibit. The contents of the basket should be carefully arranged, while the construction of the basket itself should be sturdy, long lasting, and easy on the eyes.
You Need to Be Sure That Your Gift Will Get There on Time
Your main concern will be to make absolutely certain that any gift you send will reach its intended recipient in a safe and timely manner. This is an area that you need to be assured of success in before you risk your hard earned cash. Luckily, technology has improved dramatically in the past few years to the point where you can now send an Easter basket to your friends and loved ones overnight. The basket will reach them in time to celebrate the holiday and receive a timely reminder from you. This is an issue that is naturally of the highest impact, so it’s reassuring to know it has been taken care of.
Where Can You Go to Be Sure Your Gift Will Arrive on Time?
The Easter season is nearly upon us, and it’s important to be ready. The time to make your gift giving plans is now. If you are ready to send Easter gift baskets any where in Canada and US, there’s a place you can go to make sure they will arrive on time. You can visit an excellent new site called Sweetbasket.com. This is the place where you can go to view an exciting new selection of Easter gift baskets and get precise details on how to make sure your gift will reach your loved ones in a safe and timely manner. Visit the site for more details on how to make this Easter a joyous occasion for your loved ones.
by Chris Miles
Middle Grade Fiction
Jack Sprigley isn’t just a late-bloomer. He’s a no bloomer: an eighth grader, and puberty is still a total no-show. Worse yet, he hasn’t heard from his friends all winter vacation. He assumes they’ve finally dumped him and his child-like body—until he finds out it’s much worse than that. His friends are now so far ahead of him that they’ve started dating. Jack is out of luck. But then he comes up with a plan to catch up and win his friends back. And his plan is perfect: he just has to fake puberty.
MY THOUGHTS: 3 OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
Fourteen year old Jack Sprigley believes he doesn’t have much going on for him at this point in his eighth grade life. He’s the only boy he knows who hasn’t started puberty–not even one single hair down there! His friends haven’t spoken to him in weeks. He’s bullied by his hulking classmate. But when he gets the chance to stand out again in a way he did a couple year prior, he takes it–though things are not what he expects them to be.
I guess I thought, based on the description of this book, that it would be more about a boy trying to ACTUALLY fake puberty, and that would have been hilarious. That’s not really what happens here though. Jack is supremely bothered that he’s still so young seeming compared to his friends, but he’s more concerned about standing out and being special than the changes not happening to his body. In his defense, his friends did treat him pretty crappy, but maybe at 13/14 kids are just that way to each other.
There were a whole lot of misunderstandings and non communicative scenarios going on, so much so that they kind of make up the basis of the book. There were conversations that were hilarious, sure, but there were just as many that were kind of mean spirited and frustrating. If these kids would have just talked to each other so many problems could have been solved!
There is definitely some risque subject matter in the novel, so although it’s a middle grade book, parents might want to give it a quick read first. But always remember, if they don’t learn it from you, they will learn it from somewhere else! The book has plenty of laugh out loud moments but some readers might find characterization to be lacking. I might recommend this book for older middle grade/young YA readers.
About the Author
Chris Miles has written several books for young readers in Australia. His short fiction and other writings have appeared in publications throughout Australia. He works as a website designer and developer, and in his spare time he indulges his love of Doctor Who, LEGO®, Dungeons & Dragons, and anchovies. He is a dog person (though not literally).
—Giveaway is open Internationally. | Must be 13+ to Enter
by Cátia Skye
YA Contemporary Romance
Two shattered hearts. One unstoppable love.
Nominate Tiago, by debut YA Romance author Cátia Skye, for consideration by Kindle Scout and you could win a $25 Amazon Gift Voucher, and you could get to read the book for free! Scroll down for excerpts, blurb, author info and, of course, the giveaway!
New York, USA
Kezra, sixteen, dumped by her boyfriend of six months after he took her virginity, shocked by revelations about her father, falls into an abyss of panic and anxiety. On doctor’s orders, she is sent on a vacation to get away from pressures.
Tiago, seventeen, has lost more than most lose in a lifetime, believes implicitly in the inevitable Portuguese Tragedy, has left the thug-life, has left school, is just trying to survive each new day.
Neither of them is looking for love…
- Teen & Young Adult > Romance > Contemporary
- Romance > Series
- Teen & Young Adult > Literature & Fiction > Coming of Age
- Teen & Young Adult > Literature & Fiction > Geography & Cultures > Europe
The Edge of Seventeen (2016)
I am no looker.
I’m not a dog either. But I am no looker.
Aylin used to say I was precocious. “Precocious when it comes to boys,” she’d say.
By the time I was done dating Conor, I said I was nothing but a fool.
I started dating too early. Antoni was the first guy I ever saw. I was fourteen, close to fifteen, sporting braces on my teeth. We shared a kiss, nothing passionate, innocent.
Until he touched my breasts and I went cold.
Fourteen. Was he a freaking idiot?
Dawson happened after that. It lasted three months. I was more grown up, more developed. My breasts, especially, were more developed.
I hate my breasts.
But it was Conor who would thrust me into the black world of adulthood with an indignant slap I am certain I will never forget.
I write because I am lonely.
I write because I hurt.
I write while tears drip from my eyes, turning the screen of my tablet into splotches of pixelated rainbows.
The way I was brought into this world has nothing to do with how I feel about love.
It has everything to do with how I feel about myself.
How much horror can a mind endure?
Are the pains of a sixteen-year-old laughed at by those older then her?
What pain did my mother suffer? (“Sometimes I went without food so that I wouldn’t have to take that bastard’s money, Kez.”)
My pain is nothing compared to what hers must have been. And yet, the pain I feel is phenomenal.
P.S. I Love You (2007)
Just before the sun rises, when the world is silent and the River Tejo laps gently at the stone steps leading to the giant Praça do Comércio square, leaves of golden sunlight shimmer above the surface of Lisbon’s great river. This is my favorite time to sit on these steps, flicking stones into the water, letting my gaze drift west toward the ocean.
And I think of her.
I do not weep anymore. My eyes are dry. I have wept this entire river twice over and still that will not bring her back.
The seagulls taunt me, cawing in accusation. I should have moved faster, they say. I should not have been so complacent with my joy.
I never deserved that joy. I know it.
Deadly is the Female (1950)
It is the week for meeting Americans. And if I thought my encounter with Dahlia went bad, then I can only compare my meeting with the one called Kezra to something just short of a nuclear war. It’s my fault, mostly. But it’s also her fault.
I would love to say that our first encounter is quaint and sweet, that it is the type of first-meeting you expect from a Rom-Com.
It is not.
It is a disaster.
And I am nothing short of a hungover bastard.
But let’s call a spade a spade. Guilt must be placed where guilt belongs. And this chick is a real stinker of a piece of work too.
I guess you could say I started it.
But she contributes gladly to the atomic chain reaction which follows.
Dare I say, I think she even revels in it.
Copyright © 2017, Cátia Skye. All Rights Reserved.
Cátia Skye is a New-York-born, Portuguese-American gal who now resides in the romantic heart of Lisbon, Portugal. She is the single mother of one rambunctious little boy, and pens romance novels between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. each night when her boy finally falls asleep.
Tiago is her first novel.
The Roanoke Girls
by Amy Engel
After her mother’s suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother’s mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran…fast and far away.
Eleven years later, Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run too? Or something worse? Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to help search, and to ease her guilt at having left Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.
As it weaves between Lane’s first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart.
MY THOUGHTS: 2 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
First off, I will say that this review will come with a serious TRIGGER WARNING for many reasons, just a few I will name here: suicide, pedophilia, incest, etc. Do not go starting this book thinking it’s a run of the mill thriller about a missing girl, because it is not.
In Kansas, there is a house where the girls born there, Roanokes, never seem to leave…or if they do, they don’t last long. Lane is the daughter of one of those Roanoke Girls, and though she was raised far away from Kansas, she is forced to go back there after her mother kills herself. Lane joins her cousin Allegra, who was raised in the house by their grandparents, and another orphan.
This book tells the story of one life changing summer in the lives of teenage Allegra and Lane, but also, the current tale of how Lane must go back to the Roanoke House after ten years because Allegra has gone missing. Secrets will be found out, and horrors hidden far too long will come to light even as Lane feels the pull of the house she thought she had escaped on her once again.
I do not want to give away the main “secret” of the plot, but I will say that it’s not really that much of a secret since it’s kind of blurted out around 20 % into the book. Once this comes out, it didn’t take much for me to imagine the rest of the storyline, and as I finished the book, I was right on nearly every prediction I made about what would happen.
Lane is not a particularly likable main character. Even she knows that she’s not a good person, but she goes out of her way to expose her flaws and make herself seem worse than she really is, even as a teenager. For someone who has so much self introspection throughout the novel, she truly does have no sense of how to make herself stop doing the self destructive things that she does.
The other characters in the book weren’t much better. Allegra strings along a guy who’s madly in love with her until she can’t have him anymore; only then does she want him. Everyone else in Roanoke House turns a blind eye to what is happening right in front of their faces, and ultimately I cannot say there was one single person in this book that I liked.
The other main issue that affected my rating of the book is that it’s beyond the scope of believable, unless there are these types of stories somewhere out there and I’ve been living under a rock and not heard them. I cannot believe that THREE different generations of women could be so deeply affected by the same man. I also cannot believe that the people who were not part of the family could accept what was going on.
I’m not sure who I would recommend this book for; but if you decide to give it a shot just know that you’re going into a novel that tries hard to be dark and twisty, but ultimately I just found gross and predictable.
About the Author
AMY ENGEL is the author of the young adult series The Book of Ivy. A former criminal defense attorney, she lives in Missouri with her family. This is her first novel for adults.
Connect with Amy
Today Kara Swanson and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover for THE GIRL WHO COULD SEE, which releases June 1, 2017! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to win a $5 Amazon Gift Card and a copy of the eBook!
all—and that the creature who decimated his world may be coming for hers.
deliberate two steps toward me. “We’ve had everyone on the disaster—CIA, local police, firemen…heck, we even called NASA. No one can find a plausible reason why a skyscraper, in excellent repair, would collapse like that. No one, that is, except you.”
his dark suit. “You warned us of an attack in that area two weeks ago. How did you know?”
a terrorist organization?”
save everyone. And I don’t have much time—none of us do. If I can’t gain this man’s trust, a shattered building is nothing compared to what will come next.
shoulder. They shouldn’t be there—and I know not to stare. But those eyes that only I can see are the reason I warned the FBI in the first place. Their owner the reason I’m even sitting in this room.
Able to relate with characters dropped suddenly into a unique new world, she
quickly fell in love with the speculative genre and was soon penning stories
The Mermaids of Lake Michigan
by Suzanne Kamata
Coming of Age Fiction
Elise Faulkner is more at home in the waters of her beloved Lake Michigan than on land where her beauty queen mom is always on her back about her lack of a social life; her sister is dating the boy of her dreams; her favorite penpal–the one who wrote about mermaids in Ghana–has gotten married and ended their correspondence; and no one’s allowed to talk about her glamorous great-grandmother, the deep-sea wreck diver. Elise is biding her time with books until she can flee. But then crazy Chiara Hanover pops into her life, as does Miguel, a mysterious carnival worker whose dark future has been predicted by a gypsy.
MY THOUGHTS: 2 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
Being honest, it took me several chapters to get into this book. For at least the first 10 chapters, time goes back and forth from the main character being a little girl, to her current age, high school senior. And by the way–this is a total guess. I never specifically read either an age for the narrator and her sister, OR a year when this story takes place. Though the few context clues lead to the late 70’s.
Our main character is Elise. Though she’s the older sister, she’s always been outshone by her little sis’s grace and beauty. So when free spirited Chiara breezes into town, bookish Elise is quickly enamored of the colorful world she experiences with her and they become best friends.
Though I thought that Elise had a good head on her shoulders, it doesn’t take her long to follow in Chiara’s not so innocent footsteps and lead her life down a spiraling path. I suppose we as readers are meant to surmise that Elise is tired of being the good girl that always comes in second best, but this just didn’t come across for me. Elise meets a guy twice and is instantly in love with him. She makes terrible decision after terrible decision, and into her life come a parade of random people that in the end, don’t mean that much to the story.
This novel was a very fast read, but I can’t say it was for me at all. The things Elise did just were not smart, even though I guess she felt she had no other choice. She’s also BEYOND naive and even seeing some of the shadier sides of the world beyond her town does nothing to make her face reality. I was glad when the ending came but it left a lot to be desired.
About the Author
Suzanne Kamata was born and raised in Grand Haven, Michigan. She is most recently from Lexington, South Carolina, and now lives in Tokushima Prefecture, Japan with her husband and two children. Her short stories, essays, articles and book reviews have appeared in over 100 publications including Real Simple, Brain, Child, Crab Orchard Review, and The Japan Times. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize five times, and received a Special Mention in 2006. She is also a two-time winner of the All Nippon Airways/ Wingspan Fiction Contest, winner of the Paris Book Festival Award, and winner of the Half the World Global Literati Award for the novel.
Connect with Suzanne
One commenter will have the chance to win their own copy of The Mermaids of Lake Michigan. US and Canada only please!
Today is Ash Wednesday, and I have been doing some thinking about what I would want to “give up” for Lent. Last year, I didn’t even bother because I knew I had long days with a newborn and I was so tired I was bound to lose any willpower quickly. But my son, in second grade and learning about the deeper meaning of Lent now that he is getting older, came home today asking, “Mom, I don’t know what I want to give up for Lent. Why do we give up things? Can you help me think?”
After a little while, I told him that Lent was a special time for us to think about how Jesus lived his life for us, and everything he gave up for that, including his life. I didn’t know how much detail my kid would understand. I told him the best way to live during Lent was to maybe DO things that Jesus would like. After all, Lent is a time to make our faith stronger, and I am a believer that any way you choose to do that is fine.
One way you can partake in Lent is to learn more about the life of Jesus, the tales and mystery surrounding him, and how he affected others, such as the apostles.
Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery is a supremely interesting show. Each episode explores in detail some facet related to Christ: the Shroud of Turin, Mary Magdalene, the Cross. While the story is reenacted in the foundation of the show, you are taken on a journey around the world to hear from religious and secular experts to learn more about the episode’s subject.
Season 2 of Finding Jesus will debut on Sunday, March 5–just in time for your family to experience together during Lent. The first episode is centered around the apostle Thomas. Known most famously by his somewhat notorious nickname, “Doubting Thomas,” this episode proves that there was so much more to his life than his momentary disbelief. After his faith in the risen Christ was restored, he traveled and spread the word of the Lord, affecting the faith of millions today.
Doubt is such a prevailing theme in everyday modern life. A person is always wondering if they’ve done enough; if they have said something wrong; if they are doing right by their family. I believe Lent is the best time to realize that you should give up your doubts to the Lord, just as Thomas did.
I am giving away a $25 gift card to Lifeway Christian Stores to one commenter. It’s just in time for you to get a new bible, gift for upcoming confirmations and communions, and much more.
Please leave a comment letting me know if you have seen Finding Jesus, and if so, what you think about it. I will choose a winner on March 10.
by Sara Flannery Murphy
In this electrifying literary debut, a young woman who channels the dead for a living crosses a dangerous line when she falls in love with one of her clients, whose wife died under mysterious circumstances.
In an unnamed city, Eurydice works for the Elysian Society, a private service that allows grieving clients to reconnect with lost loved ones. She and her fellow workers, known as “bodies”, wear the discarded belongings of the dead and swallow pills called lotuses to summon their spirits—numbing their own minds and losing themselves in the process. Edie has been a body at the Elysian Society for five years, an unusual record. Her success is the result of careful detachment: she seeks refuge in the lotuses’ anesthetic effects and distances herself from making personal connections with her clients.
But when Edie channels Sylvia, the dead wife of recent widower Patrick Braddock, she becomes obsessed with the glamorous couple. Despite the murky circumstances surrounding Sylvia’s drowning, Edie breaks her own rules and pursues Patrick, moving deeper into his life and summoning Sylvia outside the Elysian Society’s walls.
After years of hiding beneath the lotuses’ dulling effect, Edie discovers that the lines between her own desires and those of Sylvia have begun to blur, and takes increasing risks to keep Patrick within her grasp. Suddenly, she finds her quiet life unraveling as she grapples not only with Sylvia’s growing influence and the questions surrounding her death, but with her own long-buried secrets.
A tale of desire and obsession, deceit and dark secrets that defies easy categorization, The Possessions is a seductive, absorbing page-turner that builds to a shattering, unforgettable conclusion.
4 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
I give props to the author for finding such a unique premise for a book. It’s not quite clear how things work, but suspending your disbelief ensures you will enjoy this story.
Edie is very good at her job, which entails slipping in and out of consciousness while a dead person’s (spirit? soul? it’s never really named) speaking through her. She is basically going along day after day until she finally, unexpectedly, makes a real connection with a client. Patrick Braddock is visiting Edie to contact his recently departed wife. As Edie channels Sylvia, she finds it harder and harder to separate herself from Sylvia’s former life, and Patrick as well. She soon becomes entertwined with him, and as she gets in deeper and deeper she learns that even though your body might be one with another’s, you can never truly get to know their secrets.
I found this book easy to get absorbed in. Edie is a shaky, very withholding narrator, but as she opens up and learns more about Sylvia and gets closer to Patrick, she becomes more intriguing. While I have put this book on my “thriller” shelf, there are no really scary parts or anything where you’re holding your breath waiting for something to happen. The true deliciousness in this story is watching Edie slowly start to become someone completely different from herself.
I cannot say I particularly loved the characterization. The reader learns almost nothing about Edie until the last 5 percent of the novel. And even then, the way her past is unraveled takes you a few minutes to think about.
As I have thought about this book over the last 24 hours since I’ve finished it, I’ve loved it more. I definitely read it quickly and lost track of time in its’ pages. I would recommend this novel to those who like their stories to unwind slowly…because delayed gratification is what makes this book work. I am looking forward to more from this author.
About the Author
Sara Flannery Murphy grew up in Arkansas, where she divided her time between Little Rock and Eureka Springs, a small artists’ community in the Ozark Mountains. She received her MFA in creative writing at Washington University in St. Louis and studied library science in British Columbia. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband and son. The Possessions is her first novel.
As a parent, one of the most important things you can do for the health and safety of your child is purchase the best car seat you can afford. So often, people get lost in all of the research you must do when trying to find the seat that’s best for you. I’ve found a site that helps you compare and contrast dozens of seats, giving you the scoop in easy to understand language: Best Car Seat Hub.
Best Car Seat Hub has all the info you need to research seats in one place. Whether you’re looking for infant seats, convertible seats, boosters, or travel system information, you can find it there.
Not only can you see convertible and infant car seat reviews on bestcarseathub.com, you can get information on your state’s regulations, recall updates, and tips on how to clean your seat.
Best Car Seat Hub helps you by putting the statistics and ratings found on such sites as Consumer Reports Reviews in one easy to use, simple to understand place. I will be using the pros and cons on different convertible seats soon to find a secondary car seat for my one year old.
If you’re finding yourself overwhelmed by all the car seat hubbub on the internet, visit Best Car Seat Hub and find out what you need to know, quickly.
Microsaurs: Follow That Tiny-Dactyl
by Dustin Hansen
Danny and Lin never say no to adventure, so when Danny’s spy camera captures a tiny dinosaur crashing into Lin’s helmet during her skateboarding tryouts they know they have to investigate. But even they weren’t prepared for a secret laboratory filled with amazing inventions (including the Shrink-a-Fier and the Expand-o-matic 2) and astonishing discoveries (Triceratops are NOT fond of the color red!).
Who knew that tracking one tiny pterodactyl would open up such a giant world of adventure with the Microsaurs!?!
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids meets Jurassic Park in this new action-packed illustrated chapter book series from author and illustrator Dustin Hansen.
I have to say, first off this book and the idea of tiny dinosaurs reminded me of this movie from my childhood:
I wish it were streaming somewhere so I could show my older son! We read Microsaurs together. He immediately wished he could have a tiny dino as a pet and described to me all the places we could take him 😀
My son is a second grader, but a bit of an advanced reader for his age, and only had trouble with a handful of words. We both enjoyed the silly parts and watching the little dinos be adventurous. This is a cute, fun series that I think boys and girls will love equally. We can’t wait to read the next installment.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
Well, I’m a small town boy at heart. I grew up in rural Utah, where I could find adventure an hour in any direction. I spent a great deal of time in the outdoors, hiking, biking, and fishing like a Viking. (Vikings fly fished for small mountain trout, right?).
I remember many times going on ‘an adventure’ with my sisters as we explored the rattle snake infested acreage behind our home in Pigeon Hollow. The landscape was barren, yet beautiful, and while we walked and chewed on the sack lunches we always brought along, we made up fantastic tales, ranging from daring survival stories to walking with the giants of old.
This imaginative upbringing led me to a career as a visual artist in the video game industry, but my passion for telling stories was always tickling in the back of my mind.
2. What made you want to become a writer?
A lot of road led me to this point in my life. Most of them were dirt roads full of rocks, ruts, and pot holes, but all of them wound through the same fertile grounds. Family. I remember fondly having my dad read The Secret Garden to us as children, one chapter a night until we begged him to finish the last quarter of the book as we drew closer to the end. I remember making up stories with my sisters as we played for hours with our Fischer Price Adventure Set. And as I grew older and had a family of my own, I began to understand the importance of storytelling, and how it not only provides entertainment, but how it can empower, enlighten, and strengthen us. The first book I wrote that I was willing to share I read a chapter a night to my young children. They were, and still are, my biggest supporters, and their desire to add to the story, read sections aloud to each other, and demand me to hurry as I approached then end was all the fuel a tired writer needed to continue.
So, that’s really it. I became a writer to share my dreams and weird wanderings with my family. It’s just that now, my reading family is growing.
3. What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?
I’m a pretty simple guy. I’d be lying if I said that my desk wasn’t covered in the ghostly remains of empty Diet Mt. Dew cans, but other than that, a little solitude, a warm blanket on my lap, and a bit of time is all I need to get the old words to travel from my brain to the keyboard.
4. What are some of your favorite books?
Oh boy. This is the most difficult question you could ask. Okay. I’ll try. I’m a huge fan of all things Roald Dahl. In many ways he is my storytelling ideal. I faked sick in the 8th grade to read Robinson Crusoe in a single sitting (first time I’d ever done that with a novel). The same year I read my first Stephen King novel, It, and it rocked my 13 year old world and set me on a 15 year King obsession. Those were definitely my formative books. But today, I LOVE Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Those books just tap my funny bone. The One and Only Ivan reminded me that heart is the most underappreciated element of children’s lit. Somehow I had forgotten this over the years. And A Monster Calls reminded me that young readers are not only able to handle big topics, but in many cases they are better at it than we adults are.
5. Are your characters based on anyone you know?
Yes, and no. My main character, Lin, is loosely based on my daughters, Malorie and Annie. She kind of pulls her snarkiness from one, and her bravery from the other. But Twoee, the lovable puppy-ish triceratops is absolutely based on my 7 year old pal, Rusty. He’s a big brown puppy and when he’s not proofreading my rough drafts, he can be found lounging under my writing desk with one of his stuffed animal toys.
About the Author
Dustin was raised in rural Utah, where his imagination was his most constant companion. A reader, artist, and gamer from an early age, Dustin was encouraged to mine his talents, follow his passions, and find the fun in everyday life.
Dustin studied art in college, and entered the exciting world of video game development in 1994. His career has taken him and his family from coast to coast, but he always considered the small town he grew up in, Ephraim, Utah, his true home.
After spending a year as a director at Habro, Dustin, his wife, and four kids moved back to Ephraim, where he lives today in the shadows of a fine mountain, writes books about video games and dinosaurs, and takes long walks with his dog, Rusty.
Oh, and he loves the Utah Jazz, but that’s another story all together.
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