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A Book I'm Looking Forward to!

Over the past year I've become personal friends with Caroline Starr Rose. She's a wonderful person and friend, and a fantastic writer.

(My very BESTEST friend in all the world from Kindergarten through Elementary School and Junior High was a red-headed girl named Starr so I'm partial to that name, too!) 
 

Here is Caroline's gorgeous book, written in verse, coming out in January!
AND a beautiful Book Trailer!



Praise for May B.:
Heroes come in all sizes, and my newest hero is a pint-sized girl named Mavis Elizabeth Betterly, called May B.  Armed with only her book, a broom, and a lot of sheer grit, May B. faces the terrors of school, winter, and the west Kansas prairie. Caroline Starr Rose tells May's story in
simple, moving verse that captures the joy of family, the gloomy isolation of a dirt soddy, and the determination of one scared but indomitable young person. May B. is a girl you'll be proud to know.  Give her a big hug from me.
- Karen Cushman, author of The Midwife’s Apprentice (winner of the                      
  Newbery Medal) and Catherine, Called Birdy (Newbery Honor book)    
MAY B. Kirkus Starred Review

Publisher:Schwartz & Wade/Random
Pages: 240
Price ( Hardcover ): $15.99
Price ( Library Ed ): $18.99
Price ( e-book ): $10.99
Publication Date: January 10, 2012
As unforgiving as the western Kansas prairies, this extraordinary verse novel—Rose’s debut—paints a gritty picture of late-19th-century frontier life from the perspective of a 12-year-old dyslexic girl named Mavis Elizabeth Betterly… May B. for short . . .
If May is a brave, stubborn fighter, the short, free-verse lines are  one-two punches in this Laura Ingalls Wilder–inspired ode to the human spirit. (Historical fiction. 9-14)

Guest Post: Kimberley Griffiths Little on Deepening Character with SettingBy Kimberley Griffiths Little

By the time you've written several manuscripts, most writers begin to realize that you're either a Character Writer or a Plot Writer. Meaning that the jump-start in your brain comes from a particular character that inspires you–or a tidbit of a plot, some sort of quirk or danger in the world.

Me, I’m a setting writer. Beautiful plantations, medieval cities, unique terrain, are a springboard of ideas. Setting inspires me deeply. When I feel that tingly magic of a certain place oozing through my soul, I dive into my research with arms stretched wide and then nearly drown, surfacing only to hit more libraries, buy more books, do university or special collections research, and interview local folks to explore it as fully as I can.

Of course, character and plot intersect constantly. They are the two most talked about novel elements.

But which comes first, plot or character?

It’s the chicken-and-egg phenomenon. Which is more important? Is our main character the most important element in our stories or books; their personality and relationships and motivations? Or is it plot, the problems, the personal journey, and the very cool adventure we’re weaving together?

Character and plot do go hand in hand–but to me they are very much the same because you cannot have one without the other.

“Your novel is the story (plot) of a person (character) and how they grow and change (character) during the course of the events (plot).”

So you may be wondering how setting intersects with character and plot? Does setting really matter? Isn’t it one of those elements that can be added later, or decided at any time, and does it actually play a crucial role?

Well, try getting away with that to any science fiction or fantasy writer! World-building (setting) for a believable science fiction story can take months or years and is an integral element in a can’t-do-without-it -way for the world and plot elements to make sense.

Think of Harry Potter without Hogwarts, "Mad Max" without Thunderdome, or Jane Eyre without Lowood School, or Katniss without District 12.

Your characters simply cannot be floating “somewhere” in time and space. We’ve all read novels where the story takes place in an undefined or made up city. Any Town, USA. Maybe the state is named, maybe not. The characters and plot of a story set in the Bronx is going to be completely different than Tucson or San Francisco, the plains of Kansas, or the swamps of Louisiana.

Stories I wrote eons ago were like that—set Anyplace, Someplace, I’mNotSureWherePlace—and they weren’t very strong stories. My characters did not come alive, they weren’t three-dimensional people, and my plots just didn’t matter that much because where was everything happening? Some cliff? Some desert? Some shopping mall? A vanilla person living in a vanilla environment having a sort of vanilla adventure. No offense to vanilla lovers out there!

Setting, is the place your characters were born, the place they live, the neighborhood, house, specific city and state.

Checklist of How Setting Influences Your Character and Plot


  1. The type of person they are, their personality, likes/dislikes, fears, habits.
  2. The family they have, the neighborhood/town/city/state they live in.
  3. The problems they might encounter.
  4. Other people who influence them--for good or ill.
  5. Their religion and belief system.
  6. The culture/quirks/mannerisms of the setting.
  7. The nuances of your character's dialogue, their inner thoughts and problem solving.
  8. How your character(s) view the world.
All these elements spring from setting.

In a book that takes you to a place you’ve never been before.... When the author brings that place--that location--alive, setting often become its own character. You can practically feel the setting, taste it, touch it, hear it, and smell it. When a book does that, the reader is truly transported to a new world and is able to get inside the main character in a whole new way and on many different levels.

Adventures in Setting



Over the years, I’ve practically become an amateur historian or anthropologist. I love to see new places, to experience what the local people do, find out what they eat and wear, what they think and believe, discover the types of families they have, their environment, work, dialect.



Twelve years ago when I first stepped onto a boat on Bayou Teche, Louisiana, I knew I was in a completely new and magical world. I’ve returned so often that now I stay with local friends I’ve made. I've visited every small town in Cajun country, eaten the food, talked with everybody I can at stores, gas stations, restaurants, and museums. I've danced at several fais-do dos, visited schools and graveyards and homes.

I also make sure I'm out in those bayous and swamps every time I visit, too. It is deeply magical and satisfying to me. I breathe the air, feel the sun, take in all the sounds and smells and sights.

It’s gratifying when local people read my books and think I was born and raised there. I want to punch the air and shout, "Yes! I did it!"




TO READ THE REST OF THE PIECE PLEASE GO HERE: 

Cynsations! by the fantastic and talented Cynthia Leitich Smith.

If you haven't read Cynthia's novels and picture books you're missing out: Go here to see them all!  Books by Cynthia Leitich Smith on Amazon!

I recently returned from a full week of school visits in the gorgeous Bay Area where I was born and raised. Scholastic Book Clubs helped me set it all up and the reps I worked with were absolutely fantastic and awesome and wonderful! I had the best time - despite nursing a cold and sore throat. :-)



I also visited two schools in my sister's school district where she is a phenomenal teacher mentor for the district. YAY for fabulous, loving sisters - who also threw me a book party at her house!!! And I got to cheer my nephew in the football game for Homecoming! GO Kaden!

I also did a keynote speech at a Reading Association for teachers at the Railroad Book Depot in Pittsburg, a great new indie - thank you for having me!

Thank you librarians and teachers and Scholastic Book Fair peeps!!! Love you all - and thank you for loving The Healing Spell and Circle of Secrets! 









These girls were absolutely adorable! I wanted to hang out with them all day talking about books and adventures.




We just talked and talked and talked!!!







 Very cute handmade poster!
I *love* the butterflies! Especially since I just sold a book called WHEN THE BUTTERFLIES CAME! 



The students at 5 schools wrote 2 stories in the hour we were together, the librarians had goodies and drinks to celebrate, I signed lots and lots of books and . . .

A good time was had by all! Especially me!

Have a Very Spooky Halloween!!!


Spellbinders Logo




October 31, 2011






Special Spellbinder Book Launch!

HAVE A SPOOKY HALLOWEEN!!!


 ~and~


 SPECIAL BOOK LAUNCH


for one of your SPELLBINDERS!


 


This
month we have a special haunted treat for you. Carolee and Caroline
will interview Kimberley about her new ghost story. Read the reviews
below, then scroll down for the Q&A.
 


 


 Circle of Secrets


SCHOLASTIC PRESS


ISBN: 978-0-545-16561-7


Hardcover: $17.99


Kindle: $9.99


Fall & Spring Book Fairs


Available through Follett and Mackin, Amazon, B&N, any bookstore 


 


"The summer I turned eleven,  


I found out that ghosts were real . . ."


 


Critically
acclaimed author Kimberley Griffiths Little weaves a haunting story of
friendship and family and the power of faith, once again set against the
lush backdrop of the Louisiana bayou.


 


Goodreads Review: Hauntingly
beautiful. Terrifying, yet compelling. One of the best Middle Grade
novels I've read in years. Kimberley Griffiths Little is a master at
bringing readers the perfect story with the exotic flavor of the Bayou
mixed in.


  


Kirkus
Reviews: A steamy Louisiana bayou is the atmospheric backdrop to a tale
about a daughter's estrangement from her mom, the mother's long-held
guilty secret and a restless ghost's long-sought closure . . . A very
dramatic climax leads to a sweet, satisfying ending with some surprising
twists. For readers who like their ghost stories more friendly than
terrifying. (Suspense. 9 -12)   


 


Q&A


  


Spellbinders: Circle of Secrets takes place in the same town in the bayous of Louisiana as your first book, The Healing Spell, but it's not a sequel. What is the difference between a sequel and a companion book?    



 


 


Kimberley:
A sequel is a new book in a trilogy or series about the same characters
featured in a previous book. Think of Harry Potter and Twilight where
the characters of Harry and Bella continue their story with new
adventures and problems. A "companion" book is a story set in the same world, but with completely new characters and a new plot.   


 


Spellbinders: Do any of the characters reappear?


 


Kimberley: Only one character appears in both my books: Miz Mirage Allemand, the traiteur (treater) woman.She was introduced in The Healing Spell and in Circle of Secrets we learn more about her mysterious lifestyle as told through the eyes of her 11 year-old daughter, Shelby.  


 


Spellbinders: Oh, good. She was a delightfully creepy character.


 


Kimberley: Circle of Secrets also has a mysterious charm bracelet, an antique doll, secrets notes in a bottle tree--and a ghost!   


 


Spellbinders: Is it helpful to read the first book before reading the second?


 


Kimberley:
The two books can be independently read, but I had a lot of fun putting
in a few links and ties between the two book that enriches the
experience of both stories.


 


The
setting is the same small town of Bayou Bridge--but that changes a
bit, too. I compared/contrasted  the setting between Livie and Shelby
. The Healing Spell is from the point of view of a girl who grew up in the heart of the bayou and goes fishing and frogging with her Daddy. Circle of Secrets is about a girl from town who suddenly relocates to the swamp and finds it very primitive and spooky and weird.   


 


Spellbinders: Why did you decide to write a ghost story?    




Kimberley: About 15 years ago I wrote a manuscript called Ghost Girl--based
on the legend of La Llorona, a New Mexico story about a woman who
haunts the ditch banks at night weeping and crying for her drowned
children. 


    


Spellbinders: La Llorona is a wonderful New Mexico ghost story.    



Kimberley: Ghost Girl was
one of my early attempts at writing and not ready for publication, but
I always loved the ghost girl and the secrets she's hiding. I took
her out of that old document, brushed her off, and gave her connections
to Miz Mirage and Shelby and the swamp--as well as mysterious
connections to the charm bracelet, the graveyard, an old porcelain doll,
and a deserted island.    


Spellbinders: You've been having some jewelry making parties at some of your book signings. Tell us about the charm bracelets. 

 

If YOU had - or have - a special charm bracelet as a kid or an adult, tell us about it in the comments on the blog here: Spellbinders Book News Blogspot  

  

A picture of the charm bracelet from Circle of Secrets!  

  

Email me at kglittle@msn.com if you'd like to order one for a gift!!!

 

Email me at kglittle@msn.com if you'd like to order a bracelet  

from the book for a gift! Only $13.99 which includes shipping! 

 

TEACHER'S GUIDE for Circle of Secrets  

 

BOOK CLUB GUIDE for Circle of Secrets    

 

Book Trailer for Circle of Secrets

Click the You Tube Link    

 View our videos on YouTube 

      

Kimberley Griffiths Little
has been taking lots of recovery bubble baths since sending off her new
manuscript to Scholastic for publication in January, 2013 called
When the Butterflies Came.

 
 Black Stripes





Meet the Spellbinders



Kim Bio PhotoKimberley
Griffiths Little is the recipient of the Southwest Book Award, The
Whitney Award for Best Youth Novel of 2010, and the author of the highly
acclaimed, The Healing Spell and Circle of Secrets, published by Scholastic Press. Look for her books at the Scholastic Book Fairs, as well Circle of Secretsas
two more forthcoming novels in 2012 and 2013. She lives on a dirt road
in a small town by the Rio Grande with her husband, a robotics engineer
and their three sons. Kimberley is a favorite speaker at schools around
the country, presenting "The Creative Diary", a highly successful
writing Healing Spellworkshop and has been a speaker at many conferences. Please visit her website to download free Teacher's Guides and Book Club Guides. 


 


Follow me on Twitter 


 


 Carolee Dean


Carolee
Dean has made numerous appearances as a guest poet/author at schools,
libraries, poetry events, and teacher/library conferences. She holds a
bachelor's degree in music therapy and a master's degree in
communicative disorders, and she has spent over a decade working in the
public schools as a Comfort Paperback Coverspeech-language
pathologist. Her first novel, Comfort,was nominated as a Best Book for
Young Adults, was named the Best YA Novel of 2002 by the Texas Institute
of Letters, and was on the TAYSHAS (Texas Library Association) reading
list. She conducts teacher trainings on inspiring reluctant writers
including "The Secret Language of Stories" and "Random Take Me There CoverActs of Haiku."


 


To find teacher's guides, writing activities, and information about author visits, go to www.caroleedean.com.


 


 Follow me on Twitter 


  


 


 


 


 


Caroline Starr RoseCaroline
Starr Rose spent her childhood in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and New
Mexico, camping at the Red Sea in one and eating red chile in the other.
She's taught English and social studies to upper elementary and
middle-school students in New Mexico, Florida, Virginia, and Louisiana.
Back in New May BMexico, Caroline now writes middle-grade novels and picture books full time.


 


Website 


 


Blog   


  


  


    


  


  


  


 



  

UPCOMING AUTHOR EVENTS

  


  
Saturday, October 29th
time TBA

Carolee Dean

Workshop

"Random Acts of Writing"

NCTE Conference

National Hispanic Cultural Center

Albuquerque, NM

  

Saturday, November 5th

2:00 p.m.   

Kimberley Griffiths Little

Presentation & Reading for Circle of Secrets 

Plus make the charm bracelet from the book!
Alamosa Books

Paseo del Norte/Barstow

Albuquerque, NM

(505) 797-7101


 


  


  


  














This all went down in the last 3 days! I'm black and blue from pinching myself, picking myself up off the floor, stunned, thrilled - such a mix of emotion! A surreal dream . . . of a story (that became a trilogy) I began researching about 8 years ago. My first draft was written in 2005. Then the project underwent another 6 years of revisions, re-imagining, changing viewpoint, adding plot, developing characters, etc.

Children's: Young Adult

Kimberley Griffiths Little's GODDESS, pitched as "the YA Red Tent", to Karen Chaplin at Harper Children's, in a significant deal, in a pre-empt, in a three-book deal, for publication in beginning in 2013, by Tracey Adams at Adams Literary (US).


Most stunning of all is that I made Thursday's Publisher's Lunch first place announcement!

Been walking around giddy and dancing with a great big grin on my face! I've been 20 years getting to this
point with my craft and storytelling. Writing my heart out. Getting hundreds of rejections. A long journey, but I feel like, in so many ways, I'm just beginning, I'm still learning so much . . . and the best part is yet to come. But right now - at last - I'm very excited to share Jayden's story with all my friends and family and readers in 2013!!


The story takes place in a fascinating time period that I love and it's a very sexy romance. Girl Power. Sisterhood. Belly dancing. Camels. Tribal Raids. Sword-fighting. Mesopotamia at the time of Abraham.

Also! Pictures below from some book-signings for CIRCLE OF SECRETS the past two weeks! (Notice the castle cake from Chapter 2!)



 Scholastic Book Fair!



October Book Buzz

The spacing is sort of funky, but I hope you enjoy the piece! Having trouble viewing this email? Click here


Spellbinders Logo




October 3, 2011






Kimberley's Book Buzz

halloweenBecause it's Halloween this month I'm doing *spooky*!  


 


Let's talk about the Teen Paranormal Phenomenon of the past decade - VAMPIRES are dead, right?! Or are they? Many people might wish vampire novels were done, because it's been an extremely saturated market since the worldwide success of the Twilight
series and all of it's off-shoots. Writers and readers immediately
turned to a werewolf craze. Then zombies. Then faeries and mermaids and
witches. Now it's Dystopian/Apocalyptic type stories of a science
fiction nature.


 


But!
Just yesterday I read about a major book deal for popular author, Holly
Black (Spiderwick Chronicles) who sold a new vampire trilogy set in the
future where vampires live in Cold Towns outside of the mainstream
population. Vampire novels still sell--if they have a new twist.


 


In
2011, we're watching the Paranormal genre convolute into new
directions. Teens with secret super-powers. Magical realism. Alternate
realities. As well as Victorian Era paranormals and Steampunk.


 


Is
the Paranormal Phenomenon an invention of the new Millennium? It might
appear so, but when we take a minute to ponder, we realize that vampire,
werewolf and ghost stories have been around for at least two hundred
years beginning with authors Mary Shelley (Frankenstein) and Bram Stoker
(Dracula).


 


Paranormal
stories (especially when you include that yearning romance) is escapism
at its best. When I was a kid the television show, Dark Shadows, which
was about a vampire in a small town in Maine, was popular and now
enjoys cult status. During the 1970s women--and teens!--gobbled up dark
and stormy Gothic Romances by writers such as Victoria Holt and Mary
Stewart. Or how about the dark and stormy novels Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. No
vampires, to be sure, but they are creepy, and the love stories are
twisted and delicious like any good vampire/werewolf love triangle
today.The old and new generations aren't so different from each other
after all! 



Jane EyreLia Keyes, a writer repped by Andrea Brown Literary asked her readers on Facebook whether they preferred the romances of Jane Austen's world or the dangerous romances of Charlotte and Emily Bronte.  


 


Lia
herself prefers the Bronte Sisters. She says, "It's the emotions they
evoke in me as a reader. One is primal, the other is polite. Fiction is
for giving into men that you wouldn't give the time of day in real life.


The
Bronte darkness wormed its way into my teenage soul never to leave. It
speaks to me on a primal level that I can't articulate. It's my form of
horror story, and gives me chills that Austen's chandelier sparkle can't
provide."


 


I agree. Jane Eyre
is all about the danger and the obsession. A dark and almost magical
tale that is pure fantasy. In stories, we have the opportunity to think
about how we would react, how our own lives would be different, and what
WE would do in the same situations. To me, the dark, paranormal
romances contain fantasy on a much more personal level than a book about
dragons or elves."


 


Here are a few new titles that bring great new twists to the Paranormal Genre and your insatiable teen reader:


 


Vespertine 


VESPERTINE by Saundra Mitchell


It's
the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and
eager to take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety
is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at
sunset-visions that offer glimpses of the future.  


When
one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia's world is thrown into
chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she's not the seer of
dark portents, but the cause.


 


 


 


THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER by Michele Hodkin


Seventeen-year-old
Mara cannot remember the accident that took the lives of three of her
friends, but after moving from Rhode Island to Florida, finding love
with Noah and more deaths, she realizes that uncovering something buried
in her memory might save her family and her future.  


 


 


 


 


witch 


THE NEAR WITCH by Victoria Schwab


The
children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and a mysterious
boy falls under suspicion as 16 year old Lexi searches for them. As the
hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi's need to know--about
the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind
that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of
a nameless boy.


 


 


divergent 


DIVERGENT by Veronica Wroth


In
a future Chicago, Beatrice Prior must choose between five predetermined
factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision
made more difficult when she discovers she is an anomaly who does not
fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect
after all.  


 


 


 


afterAFTER OBSESSION by Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel


Aimee
and Alan both have unusual pasts and abilities they prefer to keep
hidden. But when they meet each other, in a cold Maine town, they can't
stop their secrets from spilling out. They believe something--or
someone--is haunting them, but they're wrong. Despite their unusual
history and powers, it's neither Aimee nor Alan who is truly haunted.
Alan's cousin Courtney who, in a desperate plea to find her missing
father, has invited a demon into her life--and into her body. Only
together can Aimee and Alan exorcise the ghost. And they have to move
quickly, before it devours not just Courtney but everything around her.


 


frost1FROST by Marianna Baer


As
classes get under way, strange happenings begin to bedevil Frost House.
Frames mysteriously falling off walls, doors locking by themselves,
furniture toppling over. Celeste blames the housemates, convinced they
want to scare her into leaving. And while Leena tries to play
peacekeeper between her best friends and new roommate, soon the
mysterious happenings in the dorm, and the reawakening of childhood
fears all push Leena to take increasingly desperate measures to feel
safe. But does the threat lie with her new roommate, within Leena's own
mind . . . or in Frost House itself?


 

 Black Stripes





Meet the Spellbinders



Kim Bio PhotoKimberley
Griffiths Little is the recipient of the Southwest Book Award, The
Whitney Award for Best Youth Novel of 2010, and the author of the highly
acclaimed, The Healing Spell and Circle of Secrets, published by Scholastic Press. Look for her books at the Scholastic Book Fairs, as well Circle of Secretsas
two more forthcoming novels in 2012 and 2013. She lives on a dirt road
in a small town by the Rio Grande with her husband, a robotics engineer
and their three sons. Kimberley is a favorite speaker at schools around
the country, presenting "The Creative Diary", a highly successful
writing Healing Spellworkshop and has been a speaker at many conferences. Please visit her website to download free Teacher's Guides and Book Club Guides. 


 


Follow me on Twitter 


 


 Carolee Dean


Carolee
Dean has made numerous appearances as a guest poet/author at schools,
libraries, poetry events, and teacher/library conferences. She holds a
bachelor's degree in music therapy and a master's degree in
communicative disorders, and she has spent over a decade working in the
public schools as a Comfort Paperback Coverspeech-language
pathologist. Her first novel, Comfort,was nominated as a Best Book for
Young Adults, was named the Best YA Novel of 2002 by the Texas Institute
of Letters, and was on the TAYSHAS (Texas Library Association) reading
list. She conducts teacher trainings on inspiring reluctant writers
including "The Secret Language of Stories" and "Random Take Me There CoverActs of Haiku."


 


To find teacher's guides, writing activities, and information about author visits, go to www.caroleedean.com.


 


 Follow me on Twitter 


  


 


 


 


 


Caroline Starr RoseCaroline
Starr Rose spent her childhood in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and New
Mexico, camping at the Red Sea in one and eating red chile in the other.
She's taught English and social studies to upper elementary and
middle-school students in New Mexico, Florida, Virginia, and Louisiana.
Back in New May BMexico, Caroline now writes middle-grade novels and picture books full time.


 


Website 


 


Blog   


  


  


    


  


  


  


 



  

UPCOMING AUTHOR EVENTS

  


  
Saturday, October 29th
time TBA

Carolee Dean

Workshop

"Random Acts of Writing"

NCTE Conference

National Hispanic Cultural Center

Albuquerque, NM

  

Saturday, November 5th

2:00 p.m.   

Kimberley Griffiths Little

Presentation & Reading for Circle of Secrets 

Plus make the charm bracelet from the book!
Alamosa Books

Paseo del Norte/Barstow

Albuquerque, NM

(505) 797-7101


 


  


  


  




























This email was sent to kglittle@msn.com by spellbinders@peifercomputing.net |  


Spellbinders | 3 YAF Authors | Albuquerque | NM | 87181


The winner of a signed hardcover copy of CIRCLE OF SECRETS IS:

SHANA NORRIS!!!!!!!!!! (The toddler has *spoken* AKA "dug into the bowl of names")

Come on down and claim your prize! Email me at kglittle at msn.com



Shana will also receive this!



AND my new book deal was announced yesterday in Publisher's Marketplace!

Children's: Middle grade
Author of The Healing Spell and Circle of Secrets Kimberley Griffiths Little's
WHEN THE BUTTERFLIES CAME, a mystical, emotional, and physical journey
about a young girl who discovers a set of mysterious keys inside her
grandmother's old house, unlocking an explosive secret that will change
her life forever, to Lisa Sandell at Scholastic, for publication in January 2013, by Tracey Adams at Adams Literary (US). 

Happy Weekend!!!




SPELLBINDERS is a blog created by me and two other authors, all current or previous school teachers who adore books and stories. We
have a once a week newsletter to help teachers, librarians and parents (and authors) develop a love of reading and books in their students and
children's lives.

I started SPELLBINDERS with Carolee Dean two years ago - and this year we are SO pleased to welcome Caroline Starr Rose who is joining us. Our first issue in its new format  launched last week and I've copied it here below.

We will be posting every Monday. PLEASE go to the blog and become an official Follower! (We've love you forever.) Lots of teaching
tips, book buzz, ideas to help kids write, book club tips, plus special guests, giveaways, you name it! Don't miss us.

You can also receive SPELLBINDERS through a direct email every Monday morning, too. To get the direct email just click the link below that
says, "Join Our Mailing List." Ten seconds to add your email. Easy Peasy. And thank you! (We also love comments!)



Spellbinders Logo


October 3, 2011




A New Face for Spellbinders


Caroline Starr Rose  Welcome
back to Spellbinders, the educational newsletter for teachers,
librarians, therapists and authors who are striving to inspire students
with literature and to create lifelong readers!

This
year we have two exciting changes. First of all, we are proud to
introduce a new columnist, Caroline Starr Rose, who will be hosting Classroom Connections.
Caroline is a previous middle school language arts and social
studies teacher with a wealth of experience connecting kids with books.
Her first book, MAY B. (Schwartz and Wade/ Random House Children's
Books), debuts January 2012. It's a novel in verse about a young girl
who travels miles from home to help out on a neighbor's homestead only
to be abandoned there in the middle of the harsh prairie winter.

It's already received a Kirkus starred review!
 
Our
second big change is that Spellbinders will be moving to a weekly
format. We all lead busy lives and rather than overwhelming our readers
with three columns and a feature article all at once, we will be
presenting one per week each Monday. Our schedule will be:
Week One: Feature Article
Week Two: Carolee and the Secret Language of Stories
Week Three: Kimberley's Book Buzz
Week Four: Caroline's Classroom Connections
Week Five: Special Edition - This month on October 31st we will explore Kim's new ghost thriller Circle of Secrets with Q&A and TREATS (aka: giveaways).
In addition to our newsletter, the same columns will appear on our blog at our Spellbinders BlogBe sure to add us to your favorites at home if you would rather read us there.
See you next week with The Secret Language of Stories. We are looking forward to a great year!
A
special note to those of you who have generously been forwarding our
newsletter to your entire school - Please use the button at the bottom
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 Black Stripes




Meet the Spellbinders


Kim Bio PhotoKimberley
Griffiths Little is the recipient of the Southwest Book Award, The
Whitney Award for Best Youth Novel of 2010, and the author of the highly
acclaimed, The Healing Spell and Circle of Secrets, published by Scholastic Press. Look for her books at the Scholastic Book Fairs, as well Circle of Secretsas
two more forthcoming novels in 2012 and 2013. She lives on a dirt
road in a small town by the Rio Grande with her husband, a robotics
engineer and their three sons. Kimberley is a favorite speaker at
schools around the country, presenting "The Creative Diary", a highly
successful writing Healing Spellworkshop and has been a speaker at many conferences. Please visit her website to download free Teacher's Guides and Book Club Guides. 

Follow me on Twitter 

 Carolee Dean
Carolee
Dean has made numerous appearances as a guest poet/author at schools,
libraries, poetry events, and teacher/library conferences. She holds a
bachelor's degree in music therapy and a master's degree in
communicative disorders, and she has spent over a decade working in the
public schools as a Comfort Paperback Coverspeech-language
pathologist. Her first novel, Comfort,was nominated as a Best Book
for Young Adults, was named the Best YA Novel of 2002 by the Texas
Institute of Letters, and was on the TAYSHAS (Texas Library
Association) reading list. She conducts teacher trainings on inspiring
reluctant writers including "The Secret Language of Stories" and
"Random Take Me There CoverActs of Haiku."

To find teacher's guides, writing activities, and information about author visits, go to www.caroleedean.com.

 Follow me on Twitter
  




Caroline Starr RoseCaroline
Starr Rose spent her childhood in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and New
Mexico, camping at the Red Sea in one and eating red chile in the
other. She's taught English and social studies to upper elementary and
middle-school students in New Mexico, Florida, Virginia, and
Louisiana. Back in New May BMexico, Caroline now writes middle-grade novels and picture books full time.



Celebrate with me - it's Party Time!!!

 

Since this gorgeous little gem is now making its way into the world, I figured it was time to officially celebrate!




A FREE COPY OF THE SPOOKY, DELICIOUS Circle of Secrets HERE and a SECOND COPY on my Blogger account!

PLUS you can WIN: A Replica of the mysterious charm bracelet from the story! 



For Extra Entries, please blog about Circle of Secrets, Facebook or Tweet!  

Thank you, everybody, for your love and support and friendship! I went through several angsty, gut-wrenching years wondering if I'd ever get an agent or sell a book again. And it was because of all of *you* that I kept my faith and hope alive!

And for those that follow me closely, Circle of Secrets is the novel I wrote a year ago on Book Armageddon Deadline - in six weeks! So pleased and happy about it!

One of the first reviews on Goodreads blew me away a few days ago: 

"Hauntingly beautiful. Terrifying, yet compelling. One of the best Middle Grade novels I've read in years. Kimberley Griffiths Little is a master at bringing readers the perfect story with
the exact flavor of the Bayou mixed in. I also recommend her previous novel, The Healing Spell." LuAnn Brobst Staheli, Teacher, Reviewer and Writer


Now that's the kind of review that makes you cry!!!

Emerging from the mists . . .


of Crazy Land. Yeah, I have been SO scarce around here the past few weeks. . . and have really missed reading blogs, writing up clever postsha, ha! Lots of life-threatening family emergencies, extra unexpected travel, kids' crises, book deadlines and doing way more than I probably should/need to for book launch *this* Saturday for CIRCLE OF SECRETS! Been slammed personally, emotionally, and professionally.

It's so nice to be among friends again! So. Lots of cool news and giveaways coming up. Because . . . drum roll . . . THIS is HERE!!!


Book Birthday is Saturday, October 1 - but Amazon and B&N are already shipping!!!

I also had my very first expense-paid trip as an author to a *national* event two weeks ago to Charleston for SIBA (Southern Independence Booksellers Alliance annual trade show). Yes, I was actually *invited*
(did NOT have to beg, borrow or steal) and my publisher paid the flight and hotel!

I was terribly nervous, but my panel went great, signed stacks and stacks of books, got to hear some fabulous speakers like Avi and Kadir Nelson, stayed in a really nice hotel, AND got to meet my agent in person for the first time who drove down especially to meet me! A really wonderful weekend - and my panel photograph, "Hideous and Haunting" made PW's online newsletter! Scroll to the bottom!



Me at the Signing Table


 Margaret Peterson Haddix and Ellen Hopkins!

 The Amazing Scholastic Staff!
 Signing for darling Abby!

 Got to meet my incredible agent Tracey Adams
for the first time in person! She and her whole family, including Super Agent Josh Adams are WONDERFUL!!!
I really love them. 
 

So now I'm chewing fingernails about Circle of Secrets out in the wilds of the world . . .

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