Friday Free-For-All

Hello, darklings,

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Friday Free-For-All. Mostly because a pox came upon Casa de Jude at the beginning of February in the form of 1) an allergic reaction, 2) a case of severe tonsillitis, 3) strep throat among the littles, and 4) an upper respiratory infection. All in the same week. This does not include the trip to the emergency room for my youngest in January after he fell on the claw part of a hammer and exposed a tendon in his knee. Home renovations are dangerous.

So some things have happened on THE MAY QUEEN MURDERS front. Publisher’s Weekly gave the book a STARRED review, stating, “Jude’s characters exude authenticity, and the suspense stayed palpable through the final pages.” Even Kirkus had something nice to say: “This present-day mystery is ripe with superstition and serves up an atmospheric, authentic-feeling setting.”

I am very humbled and thankful that my dark, little book is getting out into the world. It still seems unreal to me.

Also, my amazing author-artist pal Meghan Harker is designing a set of eight character cards for THE MAY QUEEN MURDERS. Yesterday, I unveiled the first of these cards, which features the main character, Ivy Templeton. There will be opportunities to win a set of these cards, and they are going on a very limited print run, so if you’re a collector, stay tuned!

Ivy Templeton. She is stronger than she seems.

Ivy Templeton. She is stronger than she seems.

So that’s about all for now! I’ll have character ready to view next week.
Less than two months. I can scarcely believe it.

~S

Friday Free-For-All

Hello!

This will be short because it’s already late and I’m trying to squeeze in this post between feeding my boys dinner, rushing my girl off to violin, and simply staying awake after a hectic week.

*Thank you, thank you, thank you to the bloggers, librarians, teachers, and reviewers who have taken the time read advanced copies of THE MAY QUEEN MURDERS. While I usually don’t read reviews, I am very heartened to know that the book is simply being read.

*Thinking of spring already. I like the spring because it is a season of growth before the intense heat of summer. I grow a good many heirloom vegetables, and this year my dreams are already filled with thoughts of radishes and purple carrots.

*I’m taking a lot more time this year to read for pleasure and to draw. I’ve missed making art . . . and I’m actually looking at doing some things with that soonish. Stay tuned.

*My heart broke this week. I have vivid memories of sneaking into my parents’ bedroom as a child to watch TV. We were some of the earliest to have cable TV, and one of those channels was MTV. “Let’s Dance,” “China Girl,” and “Dancin’ in the Street” by David Bowie are some of the earliest songs I remember. I was instantly drawn to the snaggle-toothed man with a sonorous voice and swagger. I remember when he married Iman. I remember “Jump.” I remember Bowie turning 50 and what a big deal that was when all the heroes of my teens turned out to perform at his birthday celebration. And now I remember his passing, the tears I shed, and my daughter asking if she could learn “Life on Mars” for her music lessons. He made true art, and it is not trite to say there will not be another like him.

* Lastly, guys, I’m really proud to share that THE MAY QUEEN MURDERS is an ALAN January 2016 Pick. There’s a lovely review up on the site that you can find here.

Until next week,
S

Friday Free-For-All

Second Friday of 2016!

It’s been a week that ebbs from extremely calm and quiet to furious flow of activity. Often within the same day. The kids went back to school–except my oldest two missed the first day back due to a particularly nasty cold that I’m grateful not to have caught (Yet. Knock on wood.)

So what’s up for this week:

* THICKER THAN WATER by Kelly Fiore. Such an incredibly beautiful and sad and amazing book about addiction and its effects on a family. A Must-Read of this year.

*THE MAY QUEEN MURDERS will be at ALA Midwinter this weekend, and if you head over to the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt booth, you might just be able to snag an ARC. Even better if you tweet a pic of yourself with the ARC to me, I’ll send you some swag.

*Secret Projects. We all like to have secrets. My friend Meghan Harker is drawing up something very fun for MQM, and here’s a sneak peek:

Secret things....ooooh

Secret things….ooooh

*We are supposed to get our first accumulating snow of the winter this weekend. About right on time for the part of Missouri where I live. Fun fact: I love snow. I probably love it more than my kids or dogs. Snow is cold, red cheeks, cups of hot tea, embers glowing in the fireplace, and hunkering down in quiet as the world outside turns blue and white.

That’s all for now. See you soon.

~S