Leigh Statham's Blog
August 29, 2017
Original cover with artwork by Phoebe Randall Currently still living on Wattpad
If you’ve followed my career for the last decade or so, you’ll know that Daughter4254 was one of my first novels. I have come back to the world, the characters, and the writing over and over again through the years. When it didn’t initially sell (2010-ish?) I decided to turn it loose on Wattpad. There it found a life of its own and flourished. I really enjoyed using that medium to get to know other writers, read their comments and feedback on D4254 and provide feedback on their work in return. I can’t say enough about how great that community is.
I was fortunate enough to be chosen as a Top 10 dystopian YA book twice on Wattpad, once for the movie release of Divergent, and once for the movie release of The Fifth Wave. This lead to a huge boost in followers and readers and a bit more publicity.
Then came the book deal.
After years of writing and publishing other books, Daughter4254 was sitting on one million reads and Owl Hollow Press decided to take a shot on my pet project. I’m more than thrilled to be working with the amazing staff there and I think it’s a timely book for kids and adults today.
More and more schools are threatening to remove art, music, creative writing, and even P.E. from their curriculums. This book gives us a glimpse of what life would look like without all the creative arts we love today and testifies to the fact that even if future generations don’t know what art is, it’s still a part of our souls.
I hope you get a chance to read it and enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed being this books “mom.”
Blog tour and reviewer sign ups are open now at Owl Hollow Press
June 16, 2016
It’s no secret that I have a load of kids at my house most days of the week. Most of them are mine, some of them are neighbors, some are just good friends. I love them all and I keep a library full of kid books for them to browse anytime they are sick of sweating to death outside. I had a couple of home schooling mom friends ask me for recommendations for their kids lately. They wanted books that they could offer their kids to read over the summer without having to worry about a lot of “crap” (read: sex, drugs, F-bombs, etc.) and being a fan of kidlit, I knew exactly what they were talking about.
I’ve read many a gorgeous book written for an older teen that wouldn’t be appropriate for my pre-teens or even a more innocent high schooler. So I came up with this list using recommendations from several websites, librarians, and my own library. The list contains classics, new classics, fun stories and some heavier material as well. I suggest letting your kids take this list (or something like it) to the library and picking out the books for themselves. I know my kids are always more eager to read if they feel like the book has been their choice, not mine.
I also mentioned this list on a podcast I participate on monthly – Kidlit Drink Night Podcast. It’s a really fun group of ladies and gents talking about kidlit and partaking in adult beverages. I’m the designated driver, and let me tell you, it’s a wild ride
Happy Summer Reading!
Watership Down, by Richard Adams
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, by Joan Aiken
Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda series, by Tom Angleberger
The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate
Mr. Popper’s Penguins, by Richard and Florence Atwater
Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt
Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie
Oz series, by Frank Baum
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, by Judy Blume
The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
Ramona series, by Beverly Cleary
Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech
The Watsons Go To Birmingham-1963, by Christopher Paul Curtis
D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths, by Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire
James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl
Danny the Champion of the World, by Roald Dahl
Matilda, by Roald Dahl
The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Because of Winn-Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo
Harriet the Spy, by Louise Fitzhugh
Eleanor Roosevelt, by Russell Freedman
The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman
Julie of the Wolves, by Jean CraigheadGeorge
My Side of the Mountain, by Jean CraigheadGeorge
Misty of Chincoteague, by Marguerite Henry
Bunnicula, by James Howe
Redwall series, by Brian Jacques
The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster
Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, by Jeff Kinney
The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwiler, by E.L. Konigsburg
A Wrinkle in Time series, by Madeleine L’Engle
The Earthsea Cycle series, by Ursula K. Le Guin
To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine
The Chronicles of Narnia series, by C.S. Lewis
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, by Grace Lin
Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry
The Giver, by Lois Lowry
Sarah, Plain and Tall, by Patricia MacLachlan
The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh, by A.A. Milne
Anne of Green Gables series, by Lucy Maud Montgomery
The Borrowers, by Mary Norton
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, by Robert C. O’Brien
Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O’Dell
Wonder, by R.J. Palacio
Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen
His Dark Materials series, by Phillip Pullman
Where The Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls
Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, by Rick Riordan
Harry Potter series, by J. K. Rowling
Holes, by Louis Sachar
The Cricket in Times Square, by George Selden
The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, by Betty Smith
A Series of Unfortunate Events books, by Lemony Snicket
Maniac Magee, by Jerry Spinelli
When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead
The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales, by Maria Tatar
The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Mary Poppins, by P.L. Travers
Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White
The Sword in the Stone, by Terence Hanbury White
Little House on the Prairie series, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
Greggor the Overlander Series, by Suzanne Collins
Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkien
The Guardians Of The Hidden Scepter, by Frank L. Cole
The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
The Uglies, by Scott Westerfeild
Inheritance Cycle (series), by Christopher Paolini
Divergent (series), by Veronica Roth
Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt
Howl’s Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones
Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs (My son, who is very anti-swearing, just read this and informed me that they do, indeed, cuss a bit. He was disappointing that I forgot that. My excuse: it was such a GREAT story!)
Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
Matched (series), by Allie Condie
The Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale
Leviathan (series), by Scott Westerfeld
Betsy-Tacy Books (series), by Maud Hart Lovelace
May 2, 2016
It’s a whole new world out there! Winter is gone, all kinds of new things are sprouting up all over, and my allergies are out of control!
My favorite new thing is my new book! The sequel to The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl comes out on October 15th!! Check out the cover. It’s so gorgeous
Third awesome thing is that WordPress has finally made remote sites accessible by app! That means I’ll be updating here much more frequently.
Cheers, darlings! May your days be pollen free!
April 2, 2015
Hello there, Super Sleuths!
I’m so excited to be a part of the Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt!
We have eight outstanding teams this season. I am part of #TeamRed! The Scavenger Hunt runs from April 2nd through April 5th beginning and ending at noon Pacific time on those days.
If you’ve never been a part of the hunt before you should give it a try. It runs like a giant blog hop, introducing you to new YA authors and books along the way. There are tons of prizes including a grand prize for each team. If you win one of the grand prizes you will get a book from each author on that team! For more information and to make sure you get hunt updates, sign up for news on the #YASH website.
You don’t want to miss out on this fabulous and fun event, but play fast because the hunt is only live for three days.
This year I am hosting Brendan Reichs, another writer from North Carolina. Is it just me, or is this place full of great talent? Gotta be the BBQ. I hear Brendan can down 23 ribs in one sitting. That’s a lot of baby back!
He has graciously offered to give us a sneak peek sample from Spike, a Virals short story to be released this winter. Whoopee! I love sneaky stuff!
You can buy his other fine books here.
SPIKE – Sneak Peek Sample
I was staring into the abyss.
Giant, brimming, sky-blue wells of horror, only moments from unleashing a torrent of mascara-infused tears.
“I already looked in there!” Whitney moaned, arms wrapped tightly to her chest. She stomped a foot, her snow-white wedding dress shimmering in the warm afternoon sunlight pouring through a bay window. Perfect blonde curls bounced precariously atop her head. “I’m telling you Tory, it’s missing!”
I dropped her Louis Vuitton bag to the floor, struggling to keep my annoyance in check. “Okay, Whitney. But I’m sure it’s around here somewhere. We double-checked everything just a few minutes ago.”
Whitney’s hands seized the sides of her dress. Then she flinched, releasing her grip and frantically smoothing the delicate while silk with her palms. She’d been a live wire all morning, from the moment I spied her practicing her walk down the aisle at dawn.
“Can you describe it for me again?” Voice calm. Holding her eye. Afraid that if I looked away she might crumple to the floor and never get up.
Her eyes bugged. “It’s blue, obviously!”
“Yes, Whitney. I know your ‘something blue’ is, in fact, blue.” Deep breath. Blank expression—like one you’d use on a stray dog of unknown temperament. “But perhaps a little further detail?”
“It’s a garter,” Whitney huffed, hands working. “My mother’s, from her own wedding. Robin’s-egg blue, with white embroidery.”
I nodded, remembering the tiny item. “You had it at home, when we inspected your bag before leaving.” For the fourth time. “So it must’ve been here when you unpacked. We just have to track the thing down.”
“Unless it was stolen,” Whitney muttered darkly, a frown pinching her delicate features. “I was in the ladies’ room before, and that hairstylist left in an awful hurry.”
“Devin didn’t steal your garter.” I was well past irritated, but trying to cover it. “She had to go touch-up the other bridesmaids.” Oh how I wished to be with them at that moment, though I didn’t have a thing in common with Whitney’s gaggle of beautiful frenemies. But the Maid of Honor has ironclad personal-assistant-to-the-bride duties. And right then, they included locating a six-inch hoop of missing taffeta.
I glanced around. We were alone in a spacious drawing room on the second floor of the Williem Carter House, one of the most exclusive wedding venues in Charleston. Both the service and reception were being held there. A National Historic Landmark, the ancient private home boasted a showcase of museum-caliber art and antiques, with a stunning ballroom surrounded by a cozy garden courtyard. The venerable old building was the height of refinement and charm. Whitney Dubois—a southern debutante to the tips of her manicured toes—wouldn’t have had it any other way. Even I had to admit the place was perfect.
However, at the moment, the palatial residence was hiding an apparently crucial element of Whitney’s ensemble, and the bride-to-be was verging on hysterics. So I was down on my knees in a dress and heels, peering under an ornate collection of couches, bookcases, and coffee tables for this stupid, useless, confounded blue garter that no one but Kit would ever see anyway.
Ew. I fast-forwarded past that unpleasant thought, searching the hand-stitched carpet with my fingers. My quarry continued to elude me.
“We’ll simply have to postpone,” Whitney babbled, verging on collapse. “You’ll tell the guests. The caterers will howl, of course, but I don’t see any way—”
“Just hold on.” I sat back on my heels, palms up in a calming gesture designed for spooked horses. “Take a breath. We don’t need to postpone the wedding. Let’s just retrace our steps a bit. Find this stupid garter.”
“It is not—”
My hand chopped sideways. “Of course not. Poor choice of words.” I rose and began pacing, chewing my bottom lip as my blue-green eyes turned inward, reviewing our progress of that morning. After the … events of last year, my irises had never returned to their former emerald green. A few people noticed from time to time, but not in any particularly startled way. “It happens,” was the phrase I heard most often.
Not usually from ingesting a covertly-manufactured anti-viral serum created in hopes of reversing a catastrophic DNA mutation—one which granted the infected subjects extrasensory canine superpowers—but whatever.
Great stuff! Thanks for sharing, Brendan!
My bonus to the party: Leave a comment below about Brendan’s sneak peak and I’ll draw a random winner for a copy of my book. Your choice, paper back or ebook.
Next stop on #YASH is Sarah Negovetich
March 19, 2015
Tour Schedule: The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl by Leigh Statham presented by Month9Books
Thank you, Month9Books, for setting up my awesome blog tour with Chapter by Chapter. Such a great organization. Several fun articles and interviews at the site below. Enjoy!
March 18, 2015
Today is the day! The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl is live! I’m so excited to share this story with all of you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing it.
Here’s the link to purchase from the publisher – better for me and available internationally with no restrictions.
Also available wherever fine books are sold online.
November 20, 2014
M9B Friday Reveal: Chapter One of The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl by Leigh Statham and Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals
Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!
This week, we are revealing the first chapter for
The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl by Leigh Statham
presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Lady Marguerite lives a life most 17th century French girls can only dream of: Money, designer dresses, suitors and a secure future. Except, she suspects her heart may be falling for her best friend Claude, a common smithie in the family’s steam forge. When Claude leaves for New France in search of a better life, Marguerite decides to follow him and test her suspicions of love. Only the trip proves to be more harrowing than she anticipated. Love, adventure and restitution await her, if she can survive the voyage.
Title: THE PERILOUS JOURNEY OF
THE NOT-SO-INNOCUOUS GIRL
Publication date: 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Leigh Statham
The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl
Marguerite held the brass cricket gingerly in her hands. She kept it tucked under the table while she turned it over, her fingers blindly memorizing every feature. She knew it was childish for a sixteen-year-old to have a favorite toy, but she couldn’t help it. The design fascinated her. Occasionally she would trip the mechanism and the cricket literally sprang to life, launching itself against the underside of the table with a loud knock.
“What was that?” Madame Pomphart cried.
Marguerite caught the little metal bug with one hand and tucked it into the folds of her skirts. “Nothing,” she lied.
“I heard a noise.” The sour-faced governess slapped the desk with her pointer and stepped closer. “What are you hiding?”
Marguerite didn’t flinch. “You must be hearing things again. You are getting rather old.”
Madame Pomphart swung her pointer, making sound contact with Marguerite’s shoulder.
“Ah!” Marguerite grabbed her shoulder and jumped to her feet, knocking her chair over. She quite forgot about the little toy cricket which launched right at the governess’s face.
“What? Oh!” Madame Pomphart batted the air and stumbled backward, dropping her stick as the cricket ricocheted off her nose and landed at Marguerite’s feet. “How dare you bring vermin into my classroom? Your father will hear about this. Lord Vadnay will not be pleased!”
Marguerite scooped up her prize and ran for the door, grateful for the chance to escape.
“Get back here or you’ll receive double lashings!”
It was too late. Marguerite ran much faster than her teacher and was already halfway down the wide corridor. Lined with portraits of long-dead relatives and her father’s collection of modern weaponry, each display tempted her with thoughts of challenging the governess to a duel. She could easily scoop up one of the automated cat-o-nine-tails and turn back to the classroom. She rather fancied the idea, actually. But it wasn’t the right time or the right way to handle her heavy-handed caretaker, and honestly, she wasn’t quite brave enough to do more than talk back—not yet.
Her fear began to lift as she lightly descended the grand curving stairway to the ballroom, sprinting over the marble tiles and through the large doors to the gardens. The French summer sun blinded her. Marguerite blinked as she continued to run around the fountain filled with automated koi. A servant perched on the edge of the large pool, brass fish in hand. Its tail clicked furiously back and forth as he tried to oil it. The late-summer roses bloomed bright with color all around her. Butterflies seemed to flit merrily on every blossom, cheering her on. Human and automaton servants worked side by side grooming the large hedges … They jumped out of her way and bowed. None of them seemed surprised to see the young lady of the house running out of doors and they all knew where she was headed.
She tried to slip away to the cool shelter of the small glen beyond the lavender fields every chance she could, but since her father came up with the idea that she needed to be a “real lady,” it had become more difficult to sneak away.
At this point, she could have stopped. Pomphart wouldn’t follow her now, but it felt so good to move quickly after being at a table all morning. Her heart beat like an auto-hammer in her chest by the time she reached the work fields. More automatons and human servants stopped and bowed to the master’s daughter. Marguerite paid them no attention.
Finally reaching the small grove of trees, she flopped merrily on the soft grass and took a deep breath, then giggled to herself. She was safe, for now. The wind picked up and tousled the leaves overhead, sending bits of sunlight swimming wildly around her. The grass outside the glen rustled under the heavy thud of work boots: Claude.
“Hullo!” His voice sounded merry as he peered through the low branches that poked and tickled at the earth, surprised to see her there so early. “How’d you manage to beat me?” His wavy, light brown hair was just shaggy enough to soften his strong jaw and angular nose. His cheek was smeared with gear oil, right up to the corner of his smiling blue eyes. He was too tall for his work trousers and his chest had grown too broad for his cotton shirt. The buttons tugged a bit, but he wasn’t the type to care about his clothes. He pulled his welding goggles off of his head and wiped the sweat on his brow with the arm of his shirt.
“I ran.” She smiled wickedly.
Claude flopped down in the grass beside her. “That’s not very ladylike, and Pomphart doesn’t usually let you out till half past.”
“I had to run after this marvelous toy you made for me attacked her.” She held up the cricket like a prize gem freshly plucked from the earth.
“Marguerite!” he cried. “I asked you to keep it safe, not use it to get yourself tossed out of ladyhood!”
“It was an accident. I swear. The lessons are just so boring. I needed something to do, so I had it under the table. She’s such a brute. You should have seen how she hit me with her blasted pointer.”
“She struck you again?” his face turned dark.
“Yes, but it’s nothing, just a welt on the shoulder.” The last thing she wanted was to be the damsel in distress.
“Still.” Claude’s brow furrowed. “It’s not right. Ladies don’t strike other ladies. Please keep good care of that little bug. It took me a long time to build and I didn’t record the plans. I may need to borrow it back someday.”
“All right.” Disappointed at his lack of enthusiasm for her naughtiness, she carried on. “But you should have seen her face! If only I could have a portrait made of that. I’d hang it over my bed and have a miniature made to keep by my heart.”
A nasally voice attached to a pointy-faced, pale girl in bright pink skirts burst through the cool glen. “Whose miniature are you keeping by your heart? You haven’t even had your ball yet.”
“Hello, Vivienne.” Marguerite sighed without enthusiasm.
“Marguerite has just sealed her doom,” Claude chimed in. “She threw the cricket I made her at Pomphart’s face today, so there may not be a ball.”
“That’s rubbish! I did no such thing. It just got away from me and bounced right off her nose.” Marguerite laughed again while recalling the image, but Claude’s words made her a bit nervous.
“Oh dear,” cried Vivienne. “What are you going to do?”
Of course Vivienne would make a big deal out of it, Marguerite didn’t expect anything less from her childish neighbor.
“I’m not sure. That’s why I came straight here.” She turned pointedly to Claude. “I thought you’d want to celebrate my freedom and take the rest of the day off.”
Claude was quick to reply, “I’m afraid I can’t. Lots to be finished at the forge and I am on stall-mucking duty with the bots.”
“What do you possibly have to finish at the forge that’s so important?”
Claude raised his eyebrows at her. “A certain girl’s father has requested automatic serving dishes made of twenty-four-karat gold for her introduction to society.”
“Oh my!” Vivienne drew a dramatic breath. “How elegant. I so wish I were old enough to come.”
“Don’t worry,” Marguerite patted the girl’s knee, “I’m sure you can borrow them for your own ball.”
“Marguerite … ” Claude hissed at her.
It wasn’t a very kind thing to say, but Marguerite had never been very fond of Vivienne. She mostly endured her company because she was the only girl within a hundred miles that was close to the same age and station as Marguerite. That, and Claude had insisted she be kind to her.
“You’re right, Claude.” Marguerite smiled in repentance. “I’m sure your father will have loads of wonderful things for the guests to marvel at when your time comes, Vivienne. Still, it would be nice to have both of you there. I suppose I will be forced to talk to strangers.”
“I can’t believe you’re not excited!” Vivienne chattered. “New dresses! Handsome suitors!”
“I am excited,” Marguerite cut her off, “to have it over and done with! Dressing up might be fun, but dressing up to catch a man is not my idea of a good time.”
“Don’t be vulgar.” Vivienne blushed. “It’s not like that at all.”
Claude cut in, “I’d love to stay and discuss this matter with you girls, but I do have a few chafing dishes waiting for their motors in the shop.”
Marguerite tensed at the thought of not only being left alone with Vivienne, but also being without Claude’s protection should Pomphart come looking for her. “Do you think I could come help you at the forge today?”
“Not if you want me to get anything done.” Claude smiled merrily.
“Stop it! You know I’m a whiz with gear-work.”
“When you are actually interested in the work, yes, but I’m afraid that auto-spoons and brass tureens would bore you to death.”
Marguerite tried to make her eyes look large and beseeching, but she knew it was no use.
“No. But you can walk me there. I forgot my lunch anyway,” Claude said as he reached to help Marguerite up.
“I didn’t exactly have time to grab a snack as I fled the dungeons,” Marguerite quipped.
“Oh! I know!” Vivienne was bursting. “Let’s have lunch in town today. You’re not going back to your lessons are you? And Claude is busy with work. It will be such fun girl time!”
Marguerite sighed, but Vivienne was right. There was no way for her to return to the estate house without being trapped by Pomphart, and she had nothing to do if Claude insisted on finishing his chores. Still, she was uneasy about the idea of being on her own with Pomphart’s wrath hovering around an unknown corner waiting to pounce. The woman was ruthless when no one of importance was watching. She had a way of getting Marguerite off on her own and exacting whatever form of punishment she felt was suitable for the crime. Marguerite tried to complain to her father, but he wouldn’t listen, he thought Marguerite just didn’t want lessons anymore.
Claude knew all of this and sensed her fears in her quiet gaze.
“Come with me, both of you. I have someone I want you to meet.” Claude smiled.
Marguerite jumped up at his tug, tossed her wavy brown hair, and set her skirts aright, glad someone was helping her make up her mind. “Very well.”
“Hooray! Oh, I know just the place,” Vivienne said. “There is a new little patisserie I saw the other day I’ve been aching to try.” She skipped up the hill ahead of the other two, babbling on about buns and cakes and half sandwiches.
Claude reached for Marguerite’s arm and squeezed a bit. He used this gesture when he was about to chastise her, but she didn’t think she’d been that rude to Vivienne. The girl got on her nerves with every word, but her intentions were good and Marguerite wasn’t cruel by nature, just impatient.
“What?” she hissed.
“I have some news, but I wanted to tell you first.”
“Oh?” Relieved not to be in trouble, but also perplexed, Marguerite wished more now than ever that Vivienne would just skip into oblivion with her bouncy blonde curls and scattered thoughts.
“Yes. You know how we spoke a few weeks ago about my plans?”
“Did you find a position in Paris?” Marguerite could scarcely contain herself. Her friend was so talented, and she knew better than anyone that he was wasted working as a bondservant on her father’s estate. If he could secure an apprenticeship in Paris he could come back to La Rochelle as a master tradesman. Plus she could visit him there. Still, apprenticeships were hard to come by.
“No, I think it’s better than that.”
“What could be better than Paris?” In her mind, crowds of well-dressed ladies paraded down glittering avenues while the latest autocarts passed by in a blur of technology and innovation. Paris was the hub of all things Marguerite admired.
“I’ve signed into His Majesty’s service. As of next week, I’ll be an official member of the Royal Corp of Engineers.”
“You what?” She was stunned. It took her a moment to sort out her emotions. How could he have made this type of decision without consulting her? They had shared everything since they discovered each other as bored children on the estate a decade ago.
“I knew you’d be angry with me for not telling you beforehand, but an opportunity just presented itself and I knew it was right—I had to take it.”
“No, I’m not angry at all. Just shocked. You know how my father feels about the military.”
“But you see, that’s just it. I won’t have to worry about your father anymore, I won’t owe him anything. My first assignment is to New France.”
“Are you two coming or not? I’m starved!” Vivienne had doubled back when she realized she was talking to herself.
Marguerite wasn’t sure she could eat or talk at that moment. She wasn’t sure she could even take another step.
Leigh Statham was raised in the wilds of rural Idaho, but found her heart in New York City. She worked as a waitress, maid, artist, math teacher, nurse, web designer, art director, thirty-foot inflatable pig and mule wrangler before she settled down in the semi-quiet role of wife, mother and writer. She resides in North Carolina with her husband, four children, five chickens and two suspected serial killer cats. If the air is cool and the sun is just coming up over the horizon, you can find her running the streets of her small town, plotting her next novel with the sort of intensity that will one day get her hit by a car.
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
The book will be sent upon the titles release.
September 8, 2014
Upside: Excellent cast, excellent adaptation, excellent effects. While it was abbreviated a bit, I felt they stayed largely close to the book. Very enjoyable two hours.
Downside: I really missed the original language and voice that Dashner so expertly added to the book. Instead, Hollywood chose to pepper the movie with common curses. It wasn’t necessary and I felt it took away from the original awesomeness of TheGlade.
Final Pronouncement: GO!! Fantastic movie. Fantastic book. Watch or read in any order. I can’t wait to go back and see it at IMAX.
Cheers Mr. Dashner! You’ve earned this!
August 31, 2014
This little top ten challenge is going around Facebook. I thought it might be fun to take some time here to explain my choices.
My top ten life changing books. Not my most favorite books, but books that changed my life in significant ways . (In no specific order.)
1. Lord of the Rings – when my family moved to SLC I was 12 years old. I was lost, sad, lonely, and assigned to sleep in my murdered uncle’s now vacant room. One closet was still full of his belongings. Of course I snooped through his things late at night when I couldn’t sleep. I was convinced he was haunting me. It was my way of getting revenge. Plus, I wanted to get to know this man better. I found his well worn copies of LOTR one night and decided to start reading.
I was instantly sucked into Tolkien’s world. It was so much better than my own I decided to swap. I began reading all night and sleepwalking through my days. My grades plummeted and my parents thought I was on drugs. What was I going to tell them ? No mom, I’m hot for elves?? It got so bad that after I read them all three times without stopping, I decided to read the index and learn to write in runes. On my fourth time through, I decided that I may have a tiny problem, and I put them back in the closet. The nice thing was that after that I slept better and felt like my uncle and I might have something in common now besides just a bedroom.
2. A Wrinkle in Time – my third grade teacher read this book aloud to us when I was 8. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on everything else L’Engle wrote after that. I typed her a letter at one point about how much I loved her books. I asked her how to become a writer. I told her I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. She wrote me back. Her advice: keep on reading.
I’m still a huge fan. She taught me that girls can do anything.
3. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – I used to watch this movie when I was a kid. When I moved to NYC I picked up the book. It was so sweet to find Francie, a girl I loved from childhood, and learn so much more about her life, family, and the city I felt was my true home. It’s a wonderful read.
4. Wild Swans by Jung Chang – a magnificent story of three generations of Chinese women. I read this book during college. It was the first time I’d really learned about the Chinese cultural revolution. I was shocked, amazed, and bewildered. It made me really stop and wonder about what else might be going on in our world while America gets fat.
5. To Kill a Mocking Bird – show me a person who has read this book and not felt changed afterward, and I’ll show you a person with no soul.
6. Blindness by Jose Saramago – I read this book while commuting to work on the subway in NYC. It’s an amazing “what if” tale. I literally wept in public as I turned the pages. Not for the faint of heart, but soul strengthening nonetheless.
7. King Lear – when I was a little girl I decided to take the hardest book I could find on my mom’s shelf and climb the willow tree for the day , hide there, and read the whole thing. I have no idea why I did this, but I did. The book I picked up was a collection of Shakespeare ‘s plays: Hamlet, King Lear, MacBeth, and The Tempest. I accomplished my goal, but long before I finished, somewhere in the middle of King Lear, I realized that I was enjoying myself. I could read Shakespeare and actually like it at the same time. Somehow, for me, this meant everything wash going to be ok. Not just that day, but for my life in general. I was going to make it.
8. This Side of Paradise – ahh fate. Once again, I was wandering NYC my first week there and I happened upon the NY public library – love those lions! I decided to drop in and get something to read. I wandered to the nearest shelf and picked up This Side of Paradise. I reasoned that it was about time I read another classic and I checked it out.
The following week I went on a date with a guy I was sure I would have nothing in common with. Then he told me he went to Princeton. I told him I was reading this great book all about Princeton. We were married 9 months later :)
9. The Book of Mormon – I didn’t just list this book to score points with God. I’ve read it more times than any other book I own. Each time I read it I learn something new, about myself, about the world, and about Christ and his love for us. It is a fascinating story from beginning to end. As far as literature goes, it’s one of my favorite tales, right up to the gut wrenching tragedy at the end. But as a religious text – and I’ve studied a lot of them – it’s truly the book that has brought me the most peace in troubles times.
10. Fahrenheit 451 – what can I say? I love books. I love Ray Bradbury. He loved books. This story made me want to be a writer. It made me want to fight back against those who don’t see the beauty in books. It made me want to share my stories, both true and dreamed.