Friday, April 8, 2011

G is for Great Posts, Gray Hair, and Giveaways! (And Gina, of Course!)

I'm not officially participating in the A-Z Challenge, but since I'm partial to the letter G, for obvious reasons, I decided to ride the blogfest's G-themed coattails.

First, I've been meaning to link to some great posts that stood out in my mind, and hadn't really had the chance to work them in.  Well, here's my chance.  First, a fantastic post from the Chocolate and Spice blog about why we love YA romance.  Tracy took the words right out of my mouth - I couldn't have said it better myself.

Also, agent Vicki  Motter did a succinct, informative post on common errors to avoid.  I love agents who elaborate on their pet peeves rather than make you guess.  Or worse, give off the impression that you're expected to be walking-textbook perfect on the first try.  Because, as agent Kristen Nelson proved the other day, even agents make grammatical errors.

Kristen did a post entitled Whose Got Problems?  Dorchester Has Problems.  An anonymous commentator remarked, Uh, don't you mean "Who's Got Problems?" As in "Who Has?"  Kristen didn't respond to the comment, she simply corrected the error.  Let it be a lesson to agents to not skewer us poor, nervous queriers when we show our fallability! 

Speaking of fallability, the one thing we all succumb to in life is age.  Sure, some go down kicking and screaming with whatever muscle movement is left after their Botox treatments, but in the end, age gets all of us.  And it ain't pretty.

View ImageThe idea of morphing into a faded, wrinkled version of yourself is terrifying to most people, myself included.  I started taking vitamin supplements in college, when I read vitamin A was essential to youthful skin, and lack of vitamin B and D could actually cause premature gray hair.  Gray hair?!  I shuddered at the thought.

Three years ago, my sister and I shared a hotel room on a trip to California, and upon seeing me popping my B-complex tabs, she questioned me about my vitamin regimine.  I explained the gray hair theory, and that was that. 

Unfortunately, the day after we returned from that trip, our Uncle Frank passed away.  At lunch after the funeral, my sister casually remarked, "Oh, by the way, Tod (her husband) and I saw a gray hair on your head at the wake last night."

Pffffff.  That was my actual reaction.  I thought she was busting on me for taking the vitamins and being paranoid.  But when her face remained totally serious, and she started sifting through my hair, I felt panic set in.  Sure enough, seconds later I was staring at a completely colorless piece of hair in my hand, one that had just come from my carefully vitamin-supplemented head.  I was devastated. 

I was only twenty-seven, and I'd never felt so old.  All my illusions came tumbling down around me.  I had to face what I already knew: there is no eternal youth, and there is no eternal life.  Eventually, we'll all shrivel and fade until we meet the same end- another "G" known as the Great Equalizer.

So what do we do in the meantime?  Enjoy every minute of it, gray hair and all.  And you can start by adding some great books to your life through my final G- my Name Game Giveaway!  There's still time to play for some great YA titles.  Here's a synopsis of what's available.  Go now!

An ARC of ABANDON by Meg Cabot.  (First in a trilogy!  Pub date April 26th)

AbandonThough she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.

FEVER CRUMB by Philip Reeve

Fever CrumbFever Crumb is a girl who has been adopted and raised by Dr. Crumb, a member of the order of Engineers, where she serves as apprentice. In a time and place where women are not seen as reasonable creatures, Fever is an anomaly, the only female to serve in the order. Soon though, she must say goodbye to Dr. Crumb-nearly the only person she's ever known-to assist archeologist Kit Solent on a top-secret project.

As her work begins, Fever is plagued by memories that are not her own and Kit seems to have a particular interest in finding out what they are. Fever has also been singled out by city-dwellers who declare her part Scriven. The Scriveners, not human, ruled the city some years ago but were hunted down and killed in a victorious uprising by the people. If there are any remaining Scriven, they are to be eliminated. All Fever knows is what she's been told: that she is an orphan. Is Fever a Scriven? Whose memories does she hold? Is the mystery of Fever, adopted daughter of Dr. Crumb, the key to the secret that lies at the heart of London?

WHAT I SAW AND HOW I LIED by Judy Blundell:

What I Saw And How I LiedWhen Evie's father returned home from World War II, the family fell back into its normal life pretty quickly. But Joe Spooner brought more back with him than just good war stories. When movie-star handsome Peter Coleridge, a young ex-GI who served in Joe's company in postwar Austria, shows up, Evie is suddenly caught in a complicated web of lies that she only slowly recognizes. She finds herself falling for Peter, ignoring the secrets that surround him . . . until a tragedy occurs that shatters her family and breaks her life in two. As she begins to realize that almost everything she believed to be a truth was really a lie, Evie must get to the heart of the deceptions and choose between her loyalty to her parents and her feelings for the man she loves. Someone will have to be betrayed. The question is . . . who?

An ARC of THE ELEVENTH PLAGUE by Jeff Hirsch (Pub date September 1st):

The wars that followed The Collapse nearly destroyed civilization. Now, twenty years later, the world is faced with a choice—rebuild what was or make something new.

Stephen Quinn, a quiet and dutiful fifteen-year-old scavenger, travels Post-Collapse America with his Dad and stern ex-Marine Grandfather. They travel light. They keep to themselves. Nothing ever changes. But when his Grandfather passes suddenly and Stephen and his Dad decide to risk it all to save the lives of two strangers, Stephen's life is turned upside down. With his father terribly injured, Stephen is left alone to make his own choices for the first time.

Stephen’s choices lead him to Settler's Landing, a lost slice of the Pre-Collapse world where he encounters a seemingly benign world of barbecues, baseball games and days spent in a one-room schoolhouse. Distrustful of such tranquility, Stephen quickly falls in with Jenny Tan, the beautiful town outcast. As his relationship with Jenny grows it brings him into violent conflict with the leaders of Settler's Landing who are determined to remake the world they grew up in, no matter what the cost.


  1. I've had gray since 15. I am 35 and almost 75% gray. I stopped dying it last year because it has gotten to expensive to keep it maintained...

  2. From one gray-haired chick to another. And I fogot to ride the coattails on C. Looking forward to reading Abandon!

  3. I never feared gray hair, because I knew I wouldn't have any. My grandfather (mom's side) was completely bald at 25. I started losing my hair during high school. You can see the progression through my ID pics. heh

  4. Oh, I want that Meg Cabot book. Oh wow!

    I have some gray hair, but my husband (who's ten months younger than me) is mostly gray (or at least it looks that way to me). I don't dye my hair because I've developed an allergy to the stuff. I'd rather suffer with gray hairs than a super itchy head. ;)

    LOL about Kristen's mistake. That made my day.

    And thanks for the Chocolate and Spice shout out. :D

  5. Oh, and thanks for telling me about Step Up 3. I liked the first two and wanted to see the third one. I think I'll skip on it now.

  6. Reading your post was a great way to start the day with a chuckle. My hair is a lovely brown, thanks to the bottles of coloring that I use. Someday I may let it go natural, but for now, I fear the gray.
    I'd love to win a copy of any of the books. I'm also following you now. Thanks for visiting my blog.