Annie Dillard, Book Giveaway, book review, Dandi Daley Mackall, Guilty? Crime, San Francisco Book Review, Teri Kanefield, The Secrets of Tree Taylor

The Secrets of Tree Taylor — Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:

“One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and 
find ashes.”
~ Annie Dillard, The Writing Life ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Teaching Authors has a great little post about characterization that is worth your time. Check it out HERE

Writer’s Digest has a good article on-line with three ways to introduce characters. Click HERE to find this guest post by Les Edgerton, author of Find Your Voice and fourteen other books. 

Thinking of self publishing? Julie Musil has a terrific guest post on Fiction University you can find HERE that will give you what you need to know about the formidable formatting.

I know I didn’t get a post up last week. Just had a really, really busy weekend and no juice left on Sunday evening. Anyway, I did promise one of you a copy of Guilty? Crime, Punishment and the Changing Face of Justice by Teri Kanefield, and I always keep my promises. The winner of this wonderful non-fiction book is Jess@Fairday’s Blog. Jess is Jessica Haight, a middle-grade writer who blogs at The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow. Click on the title to learn more, although there is more mystery at the blog than answers. Congratulations, Jess. I will get your book out to you this week.
Every once in awhile, I dig through the piles of books in my office and discover something I set aside for my blog, but it ended up in the wrong pile and languishes long after its publication date. This is what happened with a spectacular book I meant to review here last summer. The Secrets of Tree Taylor by Dandi Daley Mackall is one of my favorite books from last year. I just loved every word of it. Here is the five-star review I wrote for the San Francisco Book Review.
It’s 1963 and Tree Taylor, thirteen, has just two goals for the summer: she wants a real kiss from a boy who is not a relative, and she wants to write an article for the school newspaper that will win her a spot on the staff. As Tree is sitting outside trying to think, a shot rings out. Her father rushes by in robe and slippers, and Tree, even though she is told to sit tight, follows. What she sees is the beginning of a story that will change Tree’s life in so many ways. As she takes her journey she finds out who truly cares about her, who she truly loves, and who she really is.

 “Wanda may have thought she’d warned me away from writing, but, man, was she wrong. That phone call made me more determined than ever to get to the truth…”


 This brilliant coming-of-age story is set early in the 1960s as the United States begins a decade-long losing war that divides the country as sharply as the Civil War, as a beloved president is lost to an assassin. It is a time like no other, and

Dandi Daley Mackall

there are few tween books set in this time. Dandi Daley Mackall’s writing is beautiful, the voice pitch-perfect, the characters strong and believable, and the story absolutely true and heartfelt. Don’t miss this one. 

I have a very gently-read hardback copy of this amazing book to give away. To win, all you need do is have a US address, be a subscriber or follower and tell me that in a comment you leave on this post. If you are reading this in your email, click HERE to go to the blog so you can leave a comment. If you would like extra chances, please spread the word by posting the link on a Tweet, blog post, Facebook, or any other way you like. Let me know what you have done in your comment, and I will put in extra chances for you for each that you do.

Don’t forget to check out Shannon Messenger’s wonderful blog HERE for many more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday reviews and giveaways.



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