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Joy Preble, the author of Dreaming Anastasia: A Novel of Love, Magic, and the Power of Dreams, was the kid who loved reading, science, history, and even math, although she was always dreadful at it. She didn't so much read as she consumed books. Vats of them. Buckets full. Baskets. Well, you get the idea. Her debut novel is a young adult contemporary fantasy with a teen girl heroine, a mysterious handsome guy, and a famous Russian witch, all inspired by Anastasia Romanov's dissappearance.

I had the fortunate opportunity to ask Joy a few questions regarding her influences and inspiration...

To read the entire interview, please visit Examiner.com

What really happened to Anastasia Romanov?

Imagine in your dreams you're the Grand Duchess of Russia. Not a bad dream, right? It sounds well and good until you realize that the Grand Duchess was Anastasia Romanov, the youngest daughter of Tzar Nicholas, whose family was gunned down in the basement of their house.

In Dreaming Anastasia: A Novel of Love, Magic, and the Power of Dreams, Joy Preble delivers a debut novel that will have you wondering, What really happened to Anastasia Romanov? Persistent rumors of her possible escape circulated since her death, fueled by the fact that the location of her burial was unknown during the decades of Communist rule. Preble has used the rumors along with her family history to create a novel that confronts Russian history in a way not many would think of.

Read my interview at Examiner.com

Dawn Aldrich tackles separation anxiety


Dawn Aldrich is a native to New England. She resides in Connecticut with her husband, Peter. Together they've raised two adult children and have one granddaughter. She holds an Associates Degree in Radio & TV Communications from Endicott College and a Bachelor's Degree in Christian Education from Houghton College.

Currently, she is enjoying writing books, writing and acting in dramatic presentations and public speaking to both youth and adults. Dawn's passion is to create a picture with words, whether it is written or spoken. It is her hope that her words encourage and impact her readers and audiences as they identify with her characters and reflect on their own lives. Told from the child's perspective, Auntie's House answers the universal questions of every child left in the care of someone other than a parent: "What will I do all day long? Are there fun things to do here? Will Mommy come back for me?"

To read the interview with Dawn, please visit Examiner.com

A boy named Ryan who shared his creation


Ryan SanAngelo grew up in Connecticut and received his B.A. in Media
Communications at Western CT State University in December 2000. But as a sophomore in college, Ryan took a Children's Literature class that would forever change his life.

The result of the class was a wonderful picture book titled, Spaghetti Eddie, illustrated by the amazingly talented Jackie Urbanovic. Since the
book’s publication, Ryan has conducted author visits at venues throughout New England and beyond. He has delighted audiences with his charismatic performances showcasing both his book, his discussions, and his music. Ryan is also a teacher, who has a masters degree in Elementary Education and is certified to teach grades K-6. I had the fortunate opportunity to attend one of SanAngelo's performances and asked him a few questions about his unique path to publication and musical background.

To read the entire interview, please visit Examiner.com

Where do bad dreams come from?


Ever wonder where bad dreams come from? In The Dark Dreamweaver (Chronicles of Remin), you'll find they might come from an entire new world.

The book begins as 11 year old David is dreading going to bed. He spends every night trying to avoid closing his eyes, because as soon as he falls asleep, the nightmares begin again. But David is not the only one envisioning a very tall, very large man wearing a dark gray robe in his nightmares. Turns out, there's an epidemic of bad dreams sweeping the world and sleep specialists are puzzled by the rapid rise.

To read the entire review, please visit Examiner.com

Beginning today, students across the United States are celebrating Hispanic Heritage month . The first formal recognition of Hispanic Heritage was made by Congress in 1968. Originally designated as the week of Sept. 15, the celebration was centered around the Independence Days of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, which are celebrated on Sept. 15, and Mexico, which is celebrated on Sept. 16. In 1988, the celebration was extended to 31 days, beginning on Sept. 15 and ending on Oct. 15. It now includes Chile’s Independence Day (Sept. 18) and el Dia de la Raza, or the Hispanic celebration of Columbus Day (Oct. 12).

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 44 million people in the United States are of Hispanic origin. That's why it's important to teach students about the ethnic diversity in our country and expose them to world traditions. National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates people of various different races, from more than 20 different nations around the world who share a related cultural and ethnic heritage.

Check out a wonderful list of children's books to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at Examiner.com.

Author Interview Samantha R. Vamos


Samantha R. Vamos was born in Madison, Wisconsin, where her parents met during graduate school. Vamos grew up on the East Coast, where she attended Georgetown University Law Center and practiced law in Washington, D.C.. She and her family now reside in the Pacific Northwest, outside Seattle.

Writing has always been a passion (along with Peppermint Patties, dogs, movies, reading, traveling, Halloween, music, family, shooting endless photos of her child, and much more). Vamos has been writing stories for over twenty years and publishing her writing has been one of her greatest dreams. Vamos was most influenced to write by her mother, but both parents, as well as her paternal grandfather and maternal grandmother, are and were excellent writers.

Vamos' first picture book, Before You Were Here, Mi Amor was voted Best for Babies by Parents Magazine. Her second book, The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred is being published by Charlesbridge in Fall 2010 and will be illustrated by Rafael López. I had the chance to ask Samantha R. Vamos some questions regarding her writing, and both books....

To read the interview, please visit Examiner.com

The replacement for Harry Potter?


There's a lot of talk sweeping the internet about Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse and it's young author, Kaleb Nation. How could a 14 year old possibly write an intriguing, magical story throughout his teenage years? How much was he influenced by the infamous Harry Potter series? Now 20 years of age, Kaleb Nation's dream of being published has come true and his first book is being released today amidst a myriad of comparisons.

Read the entire review at Examiner.com

As a home-schooled child, Kaleb Nation had to be forced by his mother to write one page a week in creative writing. But by the time he finished his first story, no one could make him stop. Age twelve, Kaleb promptly telephoned the senior editor of a major publisher to pitch the book…and got to talk with security instead.

But as with most writers, not even that could stifle his dream. On the third night of the third month in 2003,
Kaleb Nation, then age fourteen, suddenly had the idea of a boy and a banker sitting on a rooftop, waiting for a burglar to come. From that image was born the story of Bran Hambric, a teen boy who was found in a bank vault when he was six years old with no memory of his past. The novel would take most of Kaleb's teenage years to write. In early 2007, Kaleb finished the first book in his series Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse, which releases tomorrow 9-9-09!

Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse
is a delightful read that will take readers to a magical world full of adventure, gnomes, and evil counterparts. I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Kaleb about his new book.

You can read the entire interview at Examiner.com





Reading Tastes of Teens


Voting for the 2009 Teens' Top Ten is now open. Teen's Top Ten is a "teen choice" list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year, sponsored by YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association).

Nominators are members of teen book groups in fifteen school and public libraries around the country. Nominations are posted on Support Teen Literature Day during National Library Week, and teens across the country vote on their favorite titles each year.

Readers ages twelve to eighteen can vote online, anytime between Aug. 24 and Sept. 18. Teens can vote for up to three of their favorite titles from the 2009 nominees and the winners will be announced in a webcast featuring WWE Superstars and Divas during Teen Read Week, October 18-24.

Tell your book group, youth organizations you work with, and any other groups you know that work with teens to head over to www.ala.org/teenstopten between Aug. 24 and Sept. 18 and vote.

The more teens who participate, the more accurately the winning list will reflect the reading tastes of teens all over the country!

Download the 2009 Teens' Top Ten nominations (PDF)
Click this link to vote through Sept. 18.

The 2009 nominations are:

Graceling by Kristin Cashore.
Untamed (House of Night, Book 4) by Kristin Cast & P.C.
City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments) by Cassandra Clare
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Truancy (Tom Doherty Associates Books) by Isamu Fukui
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Paper Towns by John Green
Runemarks by Joanne Harris
Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, The by E. Lockhart
Daughter of the Flames by Zoe Marriott
Wake by Lisa McMann
Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, Book 4) by Stephenie Meyer
Bloodline by Katy Moran
The Knife of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking: Book One by Patrick Ness
Evermore: The Immortals by Alyson Noel
Geek Charming by Robin Palmer
Melting Stones (Circle Reforged) by Tamora Pierce.
Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott.
Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith.
Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith
Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten.
Impossible by Nancy Werlin
Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee.