I haven’t been updating my blog lately… well, at all really. But I had to post today. it’s Thanksgiving Day and beyond the turkey and the pumpkin pie and the cranberries, beyond the football and the shopping and the tryptophan-induced naps, there is family. There are friends. There is love. I am so very grateful for everything and everyone in my life. What a beautiful world we live in, and it is full of grace and love and blessings. It is full of all of these things… if you choose to see them. Choose happiness. Choose to be thankful. Choose to be blessed. Today & every day. Happy Thanksgiving!

Drawn In, Fun

Which character are YOU?


Ever wonder which Drawn In character you are most like? Well now you can find out! Here’s a link to my new quiz! Enjoy! And don’t forget to come back here and let me know your results.



A Reading Challenge for 2016

vintage books and a cup of coffee

I keep seeing reading challenges pop up on different sites and blogs, and I love the idea so much, I thought I’d create my own version! I tend to pick my next book based on mood or recommendation or what’s handy at the moment. So I hope that having a list like this will inspire my 2016 reading a bit, and maybe focus my TBR pile some as well. I’m going to make it a fairly short list though, so I can leave myself lots of room for reading what strikes my fancy along the way. Fair enough, right? So here goes…

  1. A book set in a foreign country
  2. A retelling of a fairy tale or legend
  3. A book with a season in the title
  4. A book based on a true story
  5. A book that’s about to be made into a movie
  6. A debut author
  7. A book with a colour in the title
  8. A classic that I’ve never read
  9. A book with water of some kind on the cover
  10. An indie author
  11. A book featuring a MC from a different culture
  12. A book with a music theme
  13. A book with a one-word title
  14. A book with a title of at least six words
  15. A retelling of a Shakespeare play
  16. A book with a holiday as a central element
  17. A book with a purple cover
  18. A book set in space
  19. A book released in 2016
  20. A sequel to a book I read more than a year ago

Okay, I think that will do it. I’m excited to have a list to cross things off of! Anyone else challenging your list this year? Let me know, we can compare notes!



Drawn In, Fun, Writing

Quick Poll for a Short Story… Cast your vote!


Yes, I am absolutely still working on book two, so let me get that out of the way first. BUT I also have ideas for short stories / novellas featuring Rennie and the gang, exploring some prequel material and some alternate points of view. All of these would be very spoiler-y so they would only be intended for those who have already read Drawn In. But the bonus is that I can work on these simultaneously with book two (with quicker results to getting them out to YOU!). So I’m curious which idea you as a reader would most like to see… help me out, wouldja?

For ease of use, I’ve narrowed it down to four options… leave your vote in the comment section here (or on Facebook if that’s easier for you), or message me if your answer is more involved.

I already have a plan for a prequel short story that will take place after book two, but even the short version of that description would be spoiler-y so you’ll just have to trust me that it’ll be fun. Whether or not that sways you in any way towards or away from the prequel option here, I thought it was only fair to disclose since it’s already partially in the works.

Okay, that’s it. Go vote!

(PS – if you have a different idea or a twist on one of the above ideas, lay it on me! I’m always open to suggestion.)

Drawn In, Fun

A Winner!


We have a winner! Goodreads told me last week that we have a winner for the giveaway, and the book has been sent out… all the way to the UK! Can I tell you how excited I am that the winner was a Brit? Silly of me, I know, but I just can’t help myself. I opened the contest up to the US, Canada, and the UK. The last time I had a giveaway through Goodreads, I did the US and Canada and had one winner in each. This time was just ONE book to give away and the Anglophile in me was secretly hoping for a British winner. Why? Maybe it’s the Doctor Who references in my book that I’m hoping will go to someone who says, “Yes, I get that.” Or the fact that I put a British character in my book for the sheer joy of ‘hearing’ her accent in my head as I read/write. What can I say? I’m just wacky that way. Anyway, congrats to my book winner… and here’s hoping that she’ll pass along the good word to her lovely YA-loving, UK-living friends! 🙂

Update on book two and perhaps another book one giveaway coming in the new year. Stay tuned!

Drawn In, Fun, Uncategorized

A Giveaway!

DRAWN IN cover

I’m doing another giveaway on Goodreads! TODAY November 29-December 10, enter to win a signed paperback copy of my book Drawn In. I’m only giving away ONE copy so cross your fingers and make a wish. Also, if you email or message or comment here and want it personalized, just say the word. And if you’d like a few “behind the scenes” annotations, I’m always happy to write a little in the margins. 🙂

Oh, and if you’re awesome enough to already own a copy, maybe a nice Christmas present for a YA loving friend in your life?

Here’s the link… click here to enter!

Book Two, Writing

Sputter… sputter… cough…


Yes, that is the sound of my engine stalling. My writing engine has been stalled for a while now. I still make progress, but not nearly at the rate I want to be, and it gets incredibly frustrating. Especially when I know that I have people awaiting the second book. It’s such an amazing thing to have people anxious for my story and my characters… I know Rennie would be so pleased (well, Maia would be pleased. Rennie would be a little mystified by that, I think).

I notice myself getting lots of mental prep done (which is a big part of it for me… I do most of my writing in my head and then just translate to paper… anyone else do that?) and then suddenly I’m chasing plot bunnies, or distracted by the fact that I haven’t stumbled onto the perfect title yet, or cruising around Pintrest and Polyvore wondering what Rennie would be wearing whilst running through the forest at 2am with Ethan.

When I buckled down and got to work on Drawn In to finally finish it and get it out into the world, I had a set schedule and I made myself stick to it. I’ve been lacking in that sort of discipline lately and it definitely shows. So here I am, publicly stating that I am setting a schedule for myself. Hear that, world? I’m on the move, so watch out!


Author Interview: Tara St Pierre and her book “Just a Few Inches”

Hi there! I’ve been missing for a while working on some personal… shall we say projects? Sure. We’ll go with that. But I’m back! And today I’m so excited to tell you about a book I read recently. I don’t usually do the book promoting/reviewing thing on here, but I couldn’t resist with this one! The book is called Just a Few Inches and you can read my full review here.

JaFI cover

But more than that, I am thrilled to have its author, Tara St Pierre, on my blog with me today! I’m so so happy to get to support a fellow indie author! First, the blurb for the book so you have a bit of context…

All Carrie Roberts wants is to be a little bit smaller.

To fit into the perfect dress for the Valentine’s Day Dance. To look beautiful for her boyfriend, the school’s star basketball player. To keep his jealous ex-girlfriend, a rival cheerleader, away from him. And to be noticed by her classmates.

Exercising and dieting don’t work, but an advertisement for weight loss pills promises a quicker solution to her problem. As time runs out, she takes more than the recommended dose until she’s just a few inches slimmer. Heads turn when she arrives at the dance, and the wonderful night with her boyfriend is beyond what she dreamed it would be.

Days later, Carrie discovers that her body is changing in ways that should be impossible. While her doctor searches for a cure, she desperately turns to her friends and family for support. Everyone is noticing her now whether she likes it or not, and even the media is intrigued by her incredible story. Getting everything she once wanted has created new problems–problems that are growing more terrifying every day.

Because Carrie Roberts is shrinking.

Sounds so good, right? It is unique and thought-provoking, funny and touching… I really enjoyed it all around. And now… Tara!

Hi Tara! Thanks so much for joining me on my blog today!

Hi Sioux! Thanks for having me!

Just a Few Inches has such an interesting premise. What inspired you to write this book?

The original inspiration came from standing in the check-out line at a supermarket or drugstore. All those magazines with airbrushed cover photos made me wonder about the messages they send to young women. One had a cover story about some method to shrink your dress size. I remembered the Lily Tomlin movie The Incredible Shrinking Woman from my youth, and my brain created an interesting mash-up. I imagined a girl, struggling with her own perception of her body based on such conflicting images in the media. What if she tried one of those methods to shrink her dress size but instead of losing inches around her waist and hips, she lost them from her height? At that point, I was sure I had something unique. I hoped the simple speculative element of her shrinking would keep readers turning the pages while Carrie learned her lesson. I quickly realized that the only way to make it work was to write it from Carrie’s point of view. Not only would it help make her situation seem all the more real, but I could utilize her narration as social commentary while she internalizes what she learns from her own experience and from observing others.

We see the book, first person, through Carrie’s eyes. It was fascinating to watch her shrink and see ordinary objects become challenges and even threats to her. How were you able to keep track of all of the specific height references?

Lots and lots of measuring! I measured the height of counters, sinks, doorknobs, tables, beds, clothing, various dolls, phones, and other common objects. I referenced growth charts for girls so I could compare Carrie to her sisters’ heights—but she wouldn’t perfectly match their sizes. For example, a toddler has a different overall shape than a teenager, so that would affect how clothes would fit. Using averages for a girl of Carrie’s starting height (5’8”), I created a spreadsheet to calculate her measurements (height, weight, waist, arm length, foot length—you name it) for every single day of her incredible journey. At that point, I matched situations to her height. For example, there’s a scene where she’s trapped in a closet, so she needed to be too short to use the doorknob effectively. I also used the spreadsheet to determine when she’d transition her clothing—from her younger sisters to infant clothes and ultimately to doll clothes.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing this book?

Trying to find the right balance between theme and plot. I didn’t want it to come across as too heavy-handed, yet I wanted Carrie to learn so much—to grow internally—as she shrank externally. It’s easy for her to regret her decision to take the pills early on because it’s doing something so incredibly terrifying to her. But along the way, I had her observe others (her younger sisters, her friends and classmates, even her mother and doctor) to try learning where—and when—our body image issues come from. Various heights allowed for different lessons. For example, some people claim the unreal dimensions of fashion dolls may be an early contributing factor to body image struggles in girls. Whether or not that’s true, I can’t say, but I could posit the question while Carrie was that tall.

It’s pretty clear that there are body image messages throughout the book, and they’re handled really well. (Having her want to be a journalist and using that to speak consciously about her issues was a really smart move, by the way!) Is there one Tweet- sized message you’d like to have us come away with?

Thank you! Since the media plays a part in our perception of body image, it made sense to make Carrie somewhat media savvy. She starts maintaining a blog about midway through the story, and she’d probably post on other social media sites too. This is a fewer-than-140-characters line from her blog (when she’s 2’ 2” tall) that I believe she’d Tweet out: “I’d much rather have a body—any body, at any size, even this one—than to shrink away to nothing and have no body whatsoever.”

What is a favorite line from Just a Few Inches? 

My absolute favorite line occurs at the very end of the story, but I don’t want to give anything like that away. Got to save something for the readers. 😉 I have so many other lines that I love for a variety of reasons, including the one above and this one (from when she’s 4’ 2” tall): Would I ever be that secure with what I was? And which of the labels—cheerleader, shrinking, or incredible—would I ultimately embrace?

And I have to ask… other than Carrie of course, who is your favorite character?

Definitely Evan. It was great to write someone so sweet and secure in who he was, even if he was shy at times. Also, I could incorporate some of my inner dorkiness into him. There are some scenes where he performs calculations about Carrie’s height or her trajectory in a cheering routine. I had to do the calculations myself in researching and developing the story, so why let them go to waste or keep them behind the scenes? His character gave me the opportunity to insert some of them into the storyline!

Are you working on other projects?

Actively working on? Well, not exactly. But I have written what may become the first chapter of a future project. Right now, it’s a scene with two boys eating pizza while one wants to discuss fractions and infinity. The conversation came to me one morning, so rather than lose it, I typed it out. I like the narrator’s voice, and I’ve started sketching out what his lecture is a defense mechanism for. Whether this will develop a later YA novel, I don’t know. It took a long time for me to complete Inches, so we’ll just have to wait and see!

And now… just for fun…

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Vanilla…which is interesting, considering at least one character in the story has quite the affinity for chocolate.

Apples or Oranges?

Apples…I don’t like citrus.

Disney or Universal?

Do I have to choose? Both are responsible for so much wonderful entertainment!

Superman or Iron Man?

Iron Man…love his snarkiness…and he’s got a cooler suit than Superman.

Movie theatre or Netflix?

Movie theatre…there’s something great about the shared experience of watching the story unfold as part of an audience that’s far better than watching it at home where you can pause it.

Winter or Summer?

Summer…long days, sunny weather, barbecues, beaches. What’s not to love?

Thanks Tara! I loved having you join me today. Now here ya go readers … go forth and read! Here’s the link (or click the cover above). And don’t forget to add it to your TBR list on GoodReads too. 


Rennie has a voice!

Ladies and gentlemen, I am so very pleased to announce that the search is officially over. My dear Rennie, main character of Drawn In has a voice!! I’m thrilled to introduce you to the sweet and talented woman who will bring Rennie to life via audio book: Julianne Lawson.


The last time I worked with Julianne, I think she was probably twelve. Although I haven’t worked with her since, I invited her to audition for the role and I was absolutely blown away by what she was able to bring to a simple reading. Her voice is sweet and pleasant with just the perfect touch of quirky, she understands the character(s) and really gets the style and the humor written into the text, and her pacing and instincts are just perfect for this. I couldn’t be more pleased with this match.

My top four choices made this an incredibly difficult decision, but in the end I had to go with my gut. And now we start making an audio book! So so SO excited for this project, I can’t even tell you! (Except I just did.)


Surreal on a Whole New Level

So… this happened.

Dana - Rennie cosplayDana - Rennie cosplay 2Dana - Rennie cosplay with a TARDIS

Yes, that’s a friend of a friend (thank you Dana Yeoman for this!!! And Tom Webster for making this happen!) cosplaying as my main character Rennie. When she tagged me in the first photo, I was like “Hey, that’s cool, she’s reading my book! Probably because she’s also wearing yellow, like Rennie on the cover. So who’s she going as?” And I started looking… yellow sundress, red hair, dagger tied into the sash at her waist… and that’s when I started crying. I was at work, checking my email and facebook feed on my lunch break, sitting at my desk and crying. I was overwhelmed by this. Someone I’ve never even met loves my Rennie. She gets her. She loves her enough to dress as her for an Anime convention in LA, carrying my book around and telling people about it all day long as they asked who she was. How freaking amazing is that?? I never knew that this was on my writer’s bucket list, but seriously… if it’s not on yours, it should be. This is amazing.

I also have to share how she captioned that second picture of her reading in the forest. “In a weird Wibbly-Wobbly, Timey-Wimey way, Paige (aka Rennie) is reading her own autobiography in the forest to figure out how to travel through parallel universes by using the pages of her book.” Not only brilliant, but she includes a Doctor Who reference. Rennie would be so proud.