I won!

That’s right. Me. Out of 275 entries, I actually won an ARC of THE EXTRAORDINARY SECRETS OF APRIL, MAY, & JUNE, by Robin Benway over on the First Novels Club blog.

The premise of the book sounds awesome. Here’s the description posted on Amazon:

I hugged my sisters and they fit against my sides like two jigsaw pieces that would never fit anywhere else. I couldn’t imagine ever letting them go again, like releasing them would be to surrender the best parts of myself.

Three sisters share a magical, unshakable bond in this witty high-concept novel from the critically acclaimed author of Audrey, Wait! Around the time of their parents’ divorce, sisters April, May, and June recover special powers from childhood—powers that come in handy navigating the hell that is high school. Powers that help them cope with the hardest year of their lives. But could they have a greater purpose?

April, the oldest and a bit of a worrier, can see the future. Middle-child May can literally disappear. And baby June reads minds—everyone’s but her own. When April gets a vision of disaster, the girls come together to save the day and reconcile their strained family. They realize that no matter what happens, powers or no powers, they’ll always have each other.

Because there’s one thing stronger than magic: sisterhood.”

But that wasn’t the only reason I wanted to read this book. I’m working on my own YA paranormal written from multiple points-of-view. I thought what better way to study how it’s done than to read Robin Benway's book written from three viewpoints.

So back to winning. Because I never win anything. Not lotto. Not the scratch tickets my favorite patient gives me each time I see her. Not raffle tickets. Nothing. Nada, zip, zero. But take me to see a hypnotist’s show or a comedian, have them ask for a “lucky audience participant,” um, yeah, that’s right. Do they not get that I’m scrunching down low in my seat for a reason?

But. Over the past year I have actually won four books. Four! All on amazingly awesome blogs like this one. Who knows, maybe my luck is changing. But I think I’ll stick with watching comedy on television, just in case.

Thanks again to the writers from the First Novels ClubDonna Gambale,  Sara Konkowski, Janine Leaver Burgan, and Frankie Diane Mallis,


I’m almost done reading THE HELP, by Kathryn Stockett—now, one of my all time favorite books ever and I know I will be reading it again and again. Written from multiple points-of-view about what it’s like to be a black maid and white woman in Mississippi during the 1960’s. Yes, it is that good that it’s still in hardcover when most others would already have gone to soft cover. But it’s worth every cent.

However, this recommendation comes with a warning attached. I can’t stop thinking about the characters. They are with me in the car while I’m driving, which is usually when I do my best plotting for my own stories. I wonder about them, how they are as if they’re real. Last night I even dreamt that Minny, my favorite character in the book, told me to clean the floors (which really do need attention, ahem) so’s she can see her big self reflected in the shine.

Seriously, I think I’m losing it. But today, I know.

Here I am Saturday afternoon with the house to myself for a few hours, a rare occurrence, a perfect opportunity to work on UNTIL DEATH, my YA paranormal romance. But can you believe old style southern dialogue keeps trying to ooze out my fingers and find its way onto the page? After all, my main character is from present day Massachusetts and should not be inclined to say things like: sho nuff he’s got that grin on his handsome face as if he’s gone eat me up fo’ supper.

Oy! I can only roll my eyes and click delete. Kathryn Stockett, I need help getting THE HELP out of my head. Sigh. But how inspiring really, to write something that can be so encompassing, so real, so . . .
Anyway, here I go, back to my wip, hoping to get into the head of a contemporary teen and push aside Minny, Skeeter, Aibileen, and Hilly—for just a little while.

Curious, has a book gotten under your skin like this one has mine? Or am I the only crazy one?