A Murder of Magpies, All We Left Behind: Virginia Reed and the Donner Party, Children's Books, Drive Me Crazy, Giveaway, Judith Flanders, Nancy Herman, Review, Terra Elan McVoy

Drive Me Crazy — Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“Do or do not. There is no try.”
~ Yoda ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Feel like your manuscript disappeared into a black hole? HERE is an excellent article by Elizabeth Law on how to follow up with agents and editors.
Pat Miller clarifies different types of historical fiction with great examples HEREon the Group Blog.
Janice Hardy at Fiction University always has something interesting going on. Your assignment HERE is to watch a horror film. I don’t watch horror films, but I think I will have to make an exception for this one. I think I can learn a lot about writing. 
Now and then I like to recommend a book I’m not reviewing here, but one that I have enjoyed immensely, usually an adult book. I just finished reading a wonderful debut novel, a cozy mystery, that is fun, fresh, and smart. It is A Murder of Magpies by Judith Flanders and it’s set in the publishing industry in England. Fun stuff.
Last week I offered an autographed copy of Nancy Herman’s wonderful historical novel, All We Left Behind: Virginia Reed and the Donner Party to one of you. This week’s winner is Joanne Fritz. Joanne is a writer and blogger from Pennsylvania who also does book reviews and sometimes gives away books. Her blog, My Brain on Books, is really worth checking out, and don’t miss her “About Me” section. Absolutely fascinating. Click on the title to check it out. Congratulations, Joanne. I will get your book out this week.
As a tip of my hat to the beginning of summer, I think I’ve found the perfect book. Drive Me Crazy by Terra Elan McVoy is a terrific middle-grade book that is a great summer read. Here is the 5-star review I wrote for the San Francisco Book Review.
Lana and Cassie met at the wedding of Cassie’s grandmother and Lana’s grandfather. The two girls might both be twelve years old, but that is about all they have in common. They couldn’t be more different and don’t particularly like each other. Suddenly they find themselves stuck in a car together for a week, accompanying their grandparents on their honeymoon, of all things. Lana thinks she’s been sent away because her mother is sick, and her parents don’t want to tell her what’s going on. Cassie is pretty high maintenance and has friends who are even more high maintenance and not very nice. Can these two girls make their peace or even become friends without destroying their grandparents’ honeymoon?
“Maybe this would be a time to tell her that my life isn’t near as perfect as she assumes, but she starts crying harder, and it breaks my heart.”
This is a great concept for a middle-grade novel, and Terra Elan McVoy does a

Terra Elan McVoy       Photo Credit Jamie Allen

terrific job bringing it to life. The dual point of view is perfect with Cassie and Lana, each with a very distinct and pitch-perfect voice, telling her own story in alternating chapters. All the characters are interesting and well-rounded. The story is compelling and fun and the writing excellent. Young readers will love this one.  

I have a gently-read ARC for one of you. 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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