Evernight Teen Publishing

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The New Year!!!!!!

Again, blog, my long lost friend. We finally meet again.

This is my first post of the year. To catch up on what I've been doing.

1.) Trying to forget about 2016.

2.) Binge watching Outsiders. Living in rural WV and Appalachia, I'm always interested to see how Hollywood portrays these things. I can't say that I'm disappointed. There are a few things about the show that I overlook, but all in all, it's pretty good. Good enough to make me binge watch it. And for those of you who also watch, Outsiders, I do NOT believe Asa is dead. I just don't. Perhaps missing an arm, but there is no body!

3.) I've given up on internet at my house. This has proved to be a challenge. The internet is sooo distracting, but dammit, I do love it. So it's been a difficult sacrifice. We're ... adjusting.

4.) I still haven't replaced the computer that bore me 6 children, aka, novels. I'm still grieving the loss. Not really, but computers are not cheap!

5.) I'm looking forward to the live action Beauty and the Beast coming out in March. It's my favorite fairy tale!

6.) Yes, I'm a Game-of-Thrones junkie and like all others in the same boat, I can't wait for summer for that specific reason.

7.)  And I have started on a new WIP. Like stated before, it's in Helvetia, WV. It's going to be a take on some traditional German and Swiss folklore.

Until next time :)

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Success Feels Pretty Good!

It's a week later and now the dust has settled. The Boxer and the Butterfly hit Amazon's bestseller list in all its category's on release day in the United States and Australia! And I'm not gonna lie ... it felt pretty damn good!

I swore to myself I wouldn't do this, to stoop to such a level, but I just can't resist. To all the agents who strung me along for months, especially to the agent who truly made be believe I was getting signed right down to the last email, and to the other agents who passed my manuscript around the office for the Survivor-like vote :

That's right, that's right! 

I've been fortunate enough over the years to hit the bestseller list on Amazon in various countries, usually after said novel was marked down to $0.99, but NEVER on release day! It's been a year, so bittersweet personally and professionally, that I am humbled to think after all the rejection The Boxer and the Butterfly received (the market is too saturated ... I've got an author that writes like you ... your writing is great but not enough) the PEOPLE have spoken. And at the end of the day, it's you readers that count. 

I honestly don't know what to say, but thank you! Thank you to all the readers, other authors and bloggers, and reviewers! And a HUGE thank you to Evernight Teen Publishing who has always embraced my work. I'm sending hugs and thankfulness to everyone who made The Boxer and the Butterfly a success. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Come Meet Author Jennifer Macaire!

I've got author extraordinaire, Jennifer Macaire, on my blog today. Check out her latest release and don't forget to click on the links below to learn more about her work!

When intergalactic herders Carl and Ruby Cadet find a Raider baby in a wrecked spaceship, they decide to keep her as their own daughter. Raiders are considered the scourge of the galaxy and the Federation, never having captured a Raider alive, demands they give her up. When Carl and Ruby refuse, the Federation declares them outlaws and sends Raider hunters after them. The hunters have been given an order: capture the baby alive but eliminate Carl and Ruby if necessary. Despite the danger, the young herders decide to go rogue and flee. Their only hope of saving themselves and the baby Raider will be the space-travelling horses, and the mysterious Horse Passages.

Rebel Storm Rider is now available here at Evernight Teen or as a kindle at Amazon.com. for $3,99

It's winter, and the Herders hunker down around the campfire. Soup is a favorite during winter months – root vegetables abound on the planets, and carrots are a favorite. What Herder doesn't have a jar of peanut butter in his saddle pack? (Allergies excepted, of course!) This soup can be made with or without the peanut butter – but if made without, you can use half a cup of heavy cream to make the soup delightful! Bright carrot peanut butter soup to add sunshine to a cold gray day! Ingredients
  • 1/2 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 500g carrots, scrubbed (or peeled) and chopped (about 4 cups)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 cups Veggie Stock + 2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Dice onion and garlic. Add to pot with 1 Tbsp melted butter or oil. Add carrots and onions & cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and wait until it's golden.
  3. Season with a healthy pinch each salt and pepper, then add veggie stock and 2 cups of water and stir.
  4. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until veggies are tender (test by cutting a larger piece of carrot in half – it should cut with ease).
  5. Transfer to a blender (or use an immersion blender) and blend until smooth and creamy. (Cover with a towel in case your lid leaks any soup while blending.)
  6. Add peanut butter and blend thoroughly.
  7. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. For a touch of added sweetness, add a Tbsp or so of brown sugar or maple syrup.
  8. Enjoy ! You can find Jennifer Macaire's blog here, and her author site is here!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Submission Hell

July 21st was the last time I was on this blog. Wow. Life. It's glorious, beautiful and often hard. This has been my year of struggles. If you read my last post that should give you a pretty good idea. I'm happy to report, though, that she is doing much better.

All that aside, I did promise at some point to discuss my submission process for The Boxer and the Butterfly. So here I am getting ready to do just that.

First, I have to say, THANK GOD it's over. Time and circumstance change for us all. At this juncture in my life I hope I never put myself through that again. A year from now ... who knows where my mind frame will be? Maybe I'll be brave enough to submit to literary agents. Now? NO!!!!! That was mentally excruciating.

Let's get down to it.

I hated doing this, but I promised, so I went back and dug through my saved emails to bring you the stats.

Total queries sent: 53

Partial requests: 8

Full requests: 11

Rejections: Does it matter? Most did get back, but believe it or not, there was an agent who raved about the materials I sent her, had the full for months, and never followed up. I did check cyberspace to make sure something drastic didn't happen to her (hey, bad things happen, i.e. accidents, wrecks, etc.) and she still lives, but never responded. Ever.

A few more stats for #Pit2Pub

Full requests: 8

Partial: 1

The funny thing? I ended up signing with Evernight Teen and they did not heart my novel. Perhaps it was overlooked? Who knows, but all of this demonstrates you don't have to receive an invitation to submit, nor when you have a reputable literary agent make you feel like you're hours away from signing, do they sign you.

Would you aspiring authors like to see some agent responses? It's your lucky day, I'm feeling like sharing:)

*names of agents have been removed*

Dear Sasha,
Thank you so much for sending us THE BOXER AND THE BUTTERFLY for consideration. Thanks also for your patience in waiting for our response. We do know how hard it can be waiting when your manuscript is out on submission!
I have had a thorough read through THE BOXER AND THE BUTTERFLY and I enjoyed it. In fact the reason for the delay in coming back to you was because I came back to it a couple of times as it was a difficult decision to make. It had an interesting premise and you write well. However, after much thought, I felt that there was something about the voice that didn’t quite resonate for me. So, sadly, I didn’t quite love this enough to take it further. Obviously this is a very subjective view, as we all know reading is a subjective business and another agent may well feel differently. It’s so important that your agent feels passionately about your work in order to represent you to the best of their abilities.
 I’m sorry to write with disappointing news, Sasha. I do wish you all the best for the future. Thanks again for thinking of 

And here's another response after requesting my full: 

Dear Sasha,

Thank you so much for your patience and for giving me the time to read THE BOXER AND THE BUTTERFLY. There is much to admire about your novel--the voice, the tension that is carried out throughout the narrative, and the swoon worthy romance. Mickey is very charming and so easy to love as a character. That said, after having others in the office read the manuscript and some deliberation I'm going to have to pass. As much as I love the story, the overall consensus (which was not unanimous) in the office is that the story may not be different enough to stand out in the very saturated YA market. 

Thank you so much for sharing your novel with me and apologies for not having better news.

All best wishes,

And here's another full request: 

Dear Sasha,

Many thanks for sending me your submission, which I read with interest. You do write well but I'm afraid, however, that I didn't feel passionately enough about it to offer representation. Our business is subjective by nature and another agent may well feel differently - I wish you the best of luck with that.

All the best,

And another from an agent that had my full for over 6 months: 

Hi Sasha,
I'm really sorry for the delay in my reply.
I will pass on this project.

What can I say? A BUNCH. But I'll try to restrict myself. Who doesn't love having their manuscript passed around the old office with a collective Survivor-like vote? It's always great to know just how close you were. Kind of like you have be at 100% but you made it to 99%, sport. 

Or how about an agent having your full for MONTHS (almost 7) and all they have to say is, "I will pass on this project." I'm by no means entitled to a 5 page critique. Agents are busy. I am too. So I get it. They of all people know (or I think they are supposed to) how raving-lunatic-like authors become while waiting solely for their response. There's no easy or good way to give bad news. I know that, too. I'm a supervisor and have to tell my crew things all the time I'd rather not. But to give me a 2 line blurb? She did say sorry for the delay, so I guess that makes up for it? 

I really am done here :) Agents are not critiquing you as a person, it's your work. I'm okay with that. Really I am. 11 full requests people. 11. 

I had one agent who had my full tell me she loved it, but she signed an author that had my same writing style. Huh? Not, the same kind of premise book-wise, but style. I had to re-read that one a couple of times because I couldn't process that. I still can't. 

And the kicker, the biggest one of all ... after receiving an offer of publication, I wrote to what few agents were still out there considering that I was finally pulling the plug and I actually had one offer me representation. Isn't that what every author dreams of? I remember reading the email over and over and over. I had moments where I dreamed. Moments were I thought this was my big break. And after several days of agonizing, I turned said agent down. Why? I already had the contract. That's what they are for. I was polite and pleasant because that's what you should do professionally, but after it all sunk in, morally, I had to turn said agent down. Not out of spite and perhaps said agent really wanted to work with me. I don't know. But a literary agent (at least my idea of one) is supposed to push you, foster and nurture your career, try to land you deals you can't. Not the other way around. And under no circumstances will I disclose the identity of said agent. It's a professional courtesy.  

I also learned that during this whole submission from hell that has been my life for 7 months at the start of the year, crippled my ability to write. And that is killing the dream, what I'm in this for ... it's to write novels, not stalk my email, twitter, querytracker every minute. It was so debilitating. 

And guess what? It all worked out for the best. I've signed a contract with Evernight Teen, started not one, but two novels and I have finally moved on. I feel better, whole again. This post isn't meant to deter anyone from submitting to a literary agent. It's to share what this go around was like for me. Take it or leave it. 

My YA novel, The Boxer and the Butterfly, will be releasing in a few weeks. I can't wait to share it with you! 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

My Silence This Year...

I've written 8 blog posts this year. 8. Real life has taken over and it's been a HARD year. It's been a year that has TESTED me. It's been a year of HELL. I've been silent on this blog and not too much more active on my other social media. Twitter isn't so bad and isn't too time consuming. Facebook is what it is, I guess. I've managed to get on there from time to time and like a few posts and try to even post a few things on my author and personal page, but not much beyond that.

And I feel BAD about that. Over the course of my authorhood, I've met some incredible authors, editors, bloggers, etc. I believe that one good turn deserves another. I've always wanted to show my support by reading and reviewing, sharing links to their works, etc. Because being published with a small or indie press is difficult in terms of getting your books out there in the vast world to be noticed.

But this year has sucked about everything I have out of me. So, to my fellow author/blogger friends, I apologize. I like to keep my private life, well, private. I've always thought of myself as an upbeat, happy kind of person. I'm a lover of life, of people, of things. And I am still all of those things, but after putting it all out there, I hope my absence is understood. Because I truly am sorry that I've not been more supportive as I've watched friends and fellow ET authors new books release over the months.

I've said in previous posts that I am the Director of Nursing for a large facility that provides services to individuals with MR/DD. My clients are vulnerable more than most as they do not have the capacity to fend for themselves. I'm not only their nurse, but their advocate. I have to have their best intentions because many of them don't know how to go about taking care of themselves or make sound decisions. It goes way beyond just showing up and giving meds. It goes beyond 5PM. You are always thinking about them. Always.

At the very beginning of the year, my work counterpart decided to leave for another job. It was devastating to me in many ways. Because I liked her, because now my load was going to double when my back was already beginning to break, because training someone new was going to be akin to hell. She left the company and within weeks I found myself in one of the most ethically, morally tormented, painful positions I've ever been in. I had a client with Down Syndrome who was the sweetest lady. She was just adorable. I don't know how else to describe her. She wasn't a person you'd ever forget. And she had a childlike innocence about her that endeared her even more to me.

Within days of my counterpart leaving, said client fell drastically ill. So ill that she was being discharge with Hospice. It just came from nowhere. And I was devastated. But there's more. So much more. I had to walk through the valley with her. Hospice wouldn't come into the home and administer her medications. There was no one but me. And please, before I begin, this isn't a slight towards Hospice nurses.

I never signed up to be a Hospice nurse. That's a role I quickly ascertained early on in my long career as nurse that I wanted no part of. My hats off to those in my profession that can do it. That can take it mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I cannot.

At any rate I was faced with 2 choices. Leave her or stay with her. I decided to stay. And it just about broke me mentally. I stayed by her side for 4 days administering medications to keep her comfortable. For those of you who have never witnessed another human being in the dying process, it's something I could never capture in words. I sat up with her, giving her medications every hour on the hour. There were times she was suffocating on her own bodily fluids and I would gather her in my arms like a child and tell her it was okay to go, that she was loved that she would be remembered. It's something I'll never get over. I'm getting through it, but I'll never get over it. Her death will haunt me all the days of my life.

Within days of her passing, (remember me saying my clients are vulnerable and childlike) we had another horrible event that brought down the wrath of the law and other governing bodies. Justice was served, but it was yet another event that made me take a step back and say, "I am but one person and they are many. There's too much liability and responsibility with this job. I cannot do it anymore."

I cannot go into the details, but my mind was already fragile and worn from the seriousness my job can place me in from time to time. This was the proverbial straw. And so I decided it was time to find another job. And it felt like I was dying inside. I had been with my company for 11 years. It felt like as a nurse, that is where I grew up. I cried and cried. And looked for other jobs. After telling my supervisor (who I love dearly) about my intentions ... well, it was bad. She was devastated because no matter how hard or bad or tough things became at work, we always had a feeling of 'we're in this together' so that brought on it's own emotional guilt and torment. And I never wanted to do that to her. But something had to give.

After the end of my notice was approaching she pulled some serious rabbits out of her hat, got me the work help I needed, and I decided to stay. And things did improve. And then in May I received news about my twin sister, my beloved twin sister, that truly made my world come to a screeching halt.

At the beginning of May, my twin called me and said she woke up blind in her left eye. As a nurse I quickly began assessing her myself and asking those questions a nurse would.

"Is there any pain associated with your left eye?"

"Is there any drainage?"

"Do you recall any injury to your left eye?"

No, no and no.

"Seriously? You're blind in your left eye?"

Yes and yes.

I knew this wasn't right. I suspected retinal detachment as in my brain I was digging deep for what would account for blindness in one eye without any pain. That was the only thing I was coming up with in the few moments I had to assess her over the phone. I was able to get her in with my eye doctor the next day. She had no insurance. These guys were kind enough to set me up on a payment plan. After nearly two weeks of them seeing her in their office, numerous tests, antibiotic eyes drops and steroids, her vision did not come back and they had no answers.

They advised me to take her to the hospital as the worst case scenario, the one thing they hadn't ruled out yet, the dreaded diagnosis that could change her life and mine, was that she might possibly have a brain tumor that was causing the blindness.

I was sick at the thought of it and refused to believe this was the case, because, you know, she was healthy and had no other symptoms to support this diagnosis. But I drove her up to this large teaching hospital anyway. Because after nearly two weeks, I had no answers either.

After hours in the ER and undergoing every test known to man, the official diagnosis came in. Brain tumor. It felt like my world stopped, like from the moment the doctor came in and told us that, I held my breath. And continued holding my breath until on July 5 she underwent a 12 hour surgery and survived.

My twin and I look nothing alike. I'm short and prefer to call myself a cupcake cutie rather than other terms such as thick or chubby, while she is tall and slender with model-quality long legs. I have blonde hair and green eyes. She has nearly black hair, the perfect tan and blue eyes so blue, you take a double take. She's beautiful. Always has been.

There were so many things running through my head during those weeks of pretesting. Was the tumor cancerous? Would her vision come back? How would she cope with losing her beautiful hair? Would she even survive the surgery?

The neurosurgeon made it perfectly clear that the location of her tumor was smack dab between her eyes and was in a tricky location. Of the hundreds of surgeries he'd preformed over the years, less than 5% of his patients had tumors in her location.

We asked what would happen if she didn't have the surgery because of all the risk associated with it. He replied that she would sooner rather than later go completely blind and that (tumor in frontal lobe) she would develop early onset Alzheimer's and would die.

I couldn't hear anything past that. We had to roll the dice. She had to have the surgery. The alternative was too horrible to contemplate. And so I continued to hold my breath. Uncertain. Scared. Terrified at the possibility my twin could die at such a young age. She had kids. A life. And I loved her so much. But at the end, those are not bargaining chips. It doesn't matter because bad things happen to good people every day.

So on July 5th, I drove her up to Ruby Memorial at 5AM and she hugged me before going into pre-op. She wanted sedated before they shaved her hair and she wanted me to remember her as she was before in case she wasn't there after.

I can still see her in her cute sweats and T-shirt, her blue eyes filled with tears, framed under the light and glow that only a hospital light can emit. And that was the last time I saw my sister. The way I remembered her. The way I knew her. The way I loved her.

After 12 hours, the doctor came out and reported that she lived through the surgery, there was minimal bleeding on the brain but that he would have no way of assessing her cognitive ability until she woke up. I never read into that because I didn't hear anything beyond she lived. And I finally let out the breath I'd been holding since May. My sister lived. The joy that spread through my heart was warm. We were so lucky. There were other families there in that waiting room with me that were not so fortunate.

And then the unthinkable happened. As a nurse, I questioned my judgement, my place in a profession I felt I no longer belonged to.

Her recovery physically was impressive. She could walk and talk and do things I would've never believed possible for someone who just had a golf ball sized tumor removed with 30 staples in their head. But the words coming from her were not my sister. And I couldn't understand. I didn't understand.

Her first weekend home was hell. Pure hell. Behaviorally she was not my sister. I'd loved her my entire life and treated her as such. But the things she did, the things she said, were some of the meanest, most hurtful things to ever cross her lips. It was like the preacher who had never cussed a day in his life developing dementia and becoming hell on wheels. I couldn't understand. Where was my sister? It was like the girl I grew up with died on the operating table.

And then it came to me. She had surgery in her frontal lobe, that place in your brain that controls/regulates thoughts, feelings, emotions and so much more. I paged her physician after running out of ways to account for her behavior. And we had a lengthy discussion. He wasn't surprised. But I was. Because in all the weeks of hell leading up to a surgery she may not survive, I never once considered that she could come away with a frontal lobe injury that would change her entire person.

She has days where she rubs her face in frustration telling me she can't get the words out. I watch her be at war with herself. And regardless of what crosses her lips, I sit back helplessly and repeat to her that it's not her fault. She had a CAT scan yesterday and there is still slight bleeding on her brain from the surgery. There's still some bruising and swelling. Her doctor tells me it could take days, weeks, months, or even years for her to return to who she was before. He also tells me she may never. And I can't think about that. I can only think of today.

Today she had a good day. She made some sense. It's the first day she's been this way. But I'm back to holding my breath. Because now I realize there are things in life worse than death. If the sister I knew and loved and grew up with knew some of the things she has said and done in these weeks after her surgery, it would kill her. And so I grieve for the loss of that sister that I loved and am learning to love this new version of her. But I have hope. Not false hope. But real hope that one day I can breath easy and she may return to me yet.

I've lived through death. I lost both of my parents and a brother before turning 30. And of course all my grandparents went before losing them. It was painful and I never got over those losses, but I managed to get through them. But this. This is something I've never had to go through before. Grieving the loss of someone who still lives. It's new territory for me.

All I can do is continue to pray that each day she wakes up, a little piece of her will come back. It's the small things I'm hoping for like seeing recognition in her eyes. I don't know what the future holds. I pray for her. I pray for the strength and patience to know when her behavior takes a plunge, that it's not her talking. I pray she comes back.

So, I've been silent because there's so much I think and feel and want to say, but, like her, I don't know how to get it all out, I don't know what to say, I don't know what to do. And during those times, all I can do is be silent.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Currently ....

There are certain things a writer knows after extensive research, things, so to speak, that we will encounter along the way. I think we tell ourselves that we are the one writer out there that is impervious to some of these perils. But in the end, most of us are susceptible to the same crippling issues as our brothers and sisters.

  • Writers block 
  • Procrastination 
  • More writers block 
  • Useless email stalking 
  • Useless Twitter stalking 
  • Late night fantasies of getting the email or call 
This list could go on for a while. Adding more topics makes me cringe. The short of it is we all suffer from this to some degree. 

Since 2013, I've been pretty spot on with getting 2 books a year out there in the world. The trick for an author and writer is to stay productive (I think) and not allow so much time to elapse that you're no longer current. Or perhaps that is just my unnecessary fear. At May I find myself feeling way behind in this made up scenario where I have to get 2 books out there. I have nothing this year and it's almost half over. I've not reached panic level yet, but am trying to find new ways to avoid all the issues above .... and it's HARD. 

I will not go on a long rant here, but those of you reading my blog know (vaguely) that my current ms is under submission. I've had success in receiving what I feel is a significant amount of full requests from literary agents. Requests, not offers. At least to date. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled, but I'm also a.) nervous b.) terrified of the dreaded rejection/s I keep hoping will not land in my inbox and c.) due to things still being up in the air, I'm crippled in terms of productivity. 

The psyche of a submitting and hopeful writer is a strange and terrible thing. I've been painfully (it feels like 1 word a day vs. 1 chapter a day) working on another manuscript in the hopes it will keep me distracted from stalking my email and all those damn things that impede your ability to write without abandon. 

All authors know it's best to send off your manuscript once requested and get crackin' on your next novel to pass the time, stay productive and more importantly, in the event you do receive an offer and said offering agent asks about what you're currently working on you don't have that deer-in-the-headlights look. So why do we still throw our better judgement to the wind and waste valuable time? 

As a psyche nurse I'm going to analyze it by saying that the reason authors do this to themselves is because in order to move on to the next thing you have to have closure from the previous project. And as a nurse, I'm not entirely sure there is medication out there that can treat this nasty syndrome. 

I've not lost my mind entirely ... but I have decided to take up raising the cutest Lionhead bunny I've ever seen. 

While I continue to await the fate of my manuscript I will disclose some details of my current ms. It's set in Helvetia, one of the prettiest little corners on earth and it happens to only be 30 minutes from my house. It's a Swiss and German community and I find it to be the most charming place where old traditions are still upheld and tales of the past come alive. I LOVE it. So it's only natural that I have to write a YA Contemporary about it. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

At Present ...

I posted a review from one of my favorite authors, Chris Cannon, a few days ago and cringed when I saw it had been weeks since my last post. As an author, I think, most of us strive to be current with social media. I'll admit I've taken a serious liking to Twitter lately. It's fast and to the point. Blogging takes more than 140 characters. It takes media, pictures, thought, etc. And guess what? All of that takes time. And unlike The Rolling Stones song, time has NOT been on my side.

Over the last three months I've completed a manuscript, THE BOXER AND THE BUTTERFLY, that I'm extremely proud of. I've had a near physical and mental breakdown at my job at which I turned in my two weeks notice, started job shopping and then my supervisor, wonderful woman that she is, talked me down off the ledge and waved a magic wand and produced much needed help. All I can say about that is it is difficult to be responsible for yourself, let alone 100 clients spread across 4 counties coupled with 15 other nurses under you and 200 employees. How in the hell does Walmart do it? Seriously? Never mind having kids, a husband, you know ... other things in life that you love aside from a demanding job. At any rate ... I am better and my agency has survived some seriously troubled waters.

Over Easter (and this was a miracle job wise) I was able to go with my husband and kids to my mother-in-laws house. We had a wonderful weekend and weeks later, I'm still trying to digest how it is that I'd never read, let alone watched, the BBC adaptation of North and South. Now, before I start pointing the finger of blame, I will admit that my mother-in-law mentioned it in passing before as she knows my tastes. But, my cousin, Tiffany (that's right, I'm calling you out on this!) who had recommended this to me, never one time said, "Sasha, listen to me. Focus. You. Will. Love. North and South. Your life is incomplete until you watch it. Got me?" It was more like, "I think you'd like North and South." So, I'm blaming her. (I do love you, Tiff)

Seriously. North and South was GLORIOUS! It was like Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre had a baby. Of course after I watched this over Easter weekend I had to get the book and as luck would have it, North and South is available on Amazon for free. It was soooo good. I loved all the misunderstanding that all of us Jane Austen lovers admire in her work, but North and South is different in that the author (Elizabeth Gaskell) addresses some seriously hard topics such as poverty, the segregation of classes, clashing of beliefs and customs. It was perfection. There were some hard moments. It's not all humor and sun shine as in most of Austen's work, and that's where I detected a hint of the Bronte sisters. As with any of these classic works the only complaint that I have is you really work your ass off emotionally throughout the book and then they always sum up the ending you've been building and building towards in like two pages. Other than that ... just wow.

More book related news ... I'm still shopping The Boxer and the Butterfly out. It is still out there in agent land with a few who are considering it. When it's all said and done, I'll make myself share my entire experience with the process, but it's a bit premature at this stage. In the meantime, I've started on another YA Contemporary set in my beloved WV.