It's Friday and I don't have a Friday Five! Forgive me, my friends, and let me offer instead a Friday Four.
As some of you know, I'm spending this weekend touring with some of the Stages on Pages authors, Stasia Ward Kehoe, Gretchen McNeil, Elise Allen and Kim Culbertson. Can I just say here that these ladies are amazing? They come from a variety of backgrounds and a variety of locations, but the one thing they all have in common is a love of the arts and a love of writing. We spend our evenings talking books and theater, dance and music, art and life with teenagers, retirees, booksellers, librarians and anyone else who will join us, and it is always inspiring and always delightful.
Stasia Ward Kehoe is the author of AUDITION, a novel in verse about a ballerina from a small town who is chosen as a scholarship student to a big-city ballet school. Gorgeous writing. Amazing characters. And Stasia is an absolute dream to know as a person.
Gretchen McNeil is the author of POSSESS, the story of a teen exorcist in San Francisco. I have had to stop reading this book at least five times now because it scares the pee out of me. But I'm determined to finish. Her new novel, TEN, will be out in September, and is a retelling of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None - ten teens stuck on an island with a serial killer. Chilling.
Elise Allen is the author of POPULAZZI and co-author with Hilary Duff for the Elixir series. POPULAZZI is the story of a girl navigating her way through a new school during her junior year with the help of the best friend she had to leave behind. Her friend's advice? Climb The Ladder and become the most popular girl in school.
Kim Culbertson is the author of INSTRUCTIONS FOR A BROKEN HEART and SONGS FROM A TEENAGE NOMAD. I've only read Instructions, and loved the account of a girl on school trip to Italy, learning to heal after the betrayal of her boyfriend (who happens to be on the trip as well. With his new girlfriend.) Amazing prose, and Kim deftly shows the transformation of girl to artist through the visions of Italy.
These are four to watch out for, my friends. And if you ever hear they're speaking near you (with or without me!), make the trip. It's worth it.
Several Very Large Fat Bears by Imogen Robertson
5 hours ago