Monthly Archives: October 2014

Helping Readers Find Strong Girls on the Road to Katniss by Kate Hannigan

Strong female characters for young girls. Thank you for this awesome post!

Nerdy Book Club

Cupcake Cousins Nerdy Book ClubI found my writing inspiration sitting on a bench at my kids’ school. It wasn’t me plopped down there on the hard wood, it was a Wee Reader devouring a copy of The Hunger Games. While I loved the book, I was a little blown away that a third-grader was taking on such big, emotionally complex material. I wanted to plop down beside Wee Reader and rattle off a list of all the other brave, adventuresome heroines to meet on the road to Katniss Everdeen.

So I went home and got to work. And the result was my own sort of Hunger Games, which published in May. Titled Cupcake Cousins, it’s a story about two cousins who try to bake their way out of having to be flower girls in their aunt’s upcoming wedding. The stakes are high enough – a disaster strikes the wedding cake, and their cooking…

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Review: Akata Witch (Akata Witch #1) by Nnedi Okorafor

This book is definitely going on my list…

The Book Wars


Hardcover, 349 pages
Published April 14th 2011 by Viking Children’s
Source: Library

Any title with the word “witch” in it is guaranteed to get my attention and when the synopsis is as fascinating as the one of Akata Witch, the book keeps my attention.

Akata Witch follows Sunny, a 12 year old American-Nigerian girl whose parents moved their family back to Nigeria when she was nine years old. She has a lot of things to deal with. For one thing, she’s an albino which exposes to a lot of censure and ridicule from her peers. Then there is her relationship with her father which is bad and beyond; he seems to resent her for reasons she doesn’t understand. Then there are her brothers who take for granted the freedoms that she longs for. Her mother is strict though with good reason as there is a serial killer going around targeting…

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Writing a Novel in a Month

The ultimate challenge? Potentially.

A Writer's Notes

For my sins I’ve joined the National Novel in a Month campaign. This means I need to write 50,000 words in November and post it online.

This doesn’t mean stopping work on the existing novel – now in the stage of rewriting following very useful but fortunately positive comments from friends – but adding another one to the workload.

As I had half a dozen ideas already in the notebook I asked members of the Suffolk Writers Group which one they liked most. The answer, by a slight majority, was Masonic Fire – a conspiracy thriller set in Norwich. Second was Grimm Reaper – a serial killer story set in Lowestoft with a group of three teenagers as sleuths. Medieval detective story Trial By Jewry – set in Norwich in 1189 – was third. As it happens this was the same order my wife Jules put them in and my own…

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feminism unfinished.


Read The Washington Post’s contributor Elaine Showalter’s review of  “Feminism Unfinished: A Short, Surprising History of American Women’s Movements” by Dorothy Sue Cobble, Linda Gordon, and Astrid Henry:



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morning inspirations.



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sheryl sandberg: confidence woman.


Read Time Magazine contributor Belinda Luscombe’s exclusive interview here:


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an interview with ellen langer.

“Mindfulness is the process of actively noticing new things. When you do that, it puts you in the present.”


Read The Harvard Business Review’s interview with author Ellen Langer on her research and experience with mindfulness:


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