Nothing to make me go “eeeeee!!!” on a rainy January morning like seeing in my Google Reader that the Rainbow List blog has a new post — and it’s for the long-anticipated annual Rainbow List!

The Rainbow List is compiled by American Library Association’s Gay and Lesbian Round Table. The committee takes nominations for LGBTQ-themed books published in the previous 18 months that are written for young readers, compiles their list of recommendations, and names a Top Ten.

Guess what book is on the Top Ten list with nine other fabulous titles, that added a few extra E’s to my “eeeeee!!!”?

  • *Bigelow, Lisa Jenn. Starting From Here. 2012. 292p. Amazon Children’s Publishing, $16.99 (9780761462330). Grades 9 & Up.
  • *Cronn-Mills, Kristin. Beautiful Music for Ugly Children. 2012. 288p. Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd., $9.99 (9780738732510). Grades 8 & Up.
  • *Danforth, Emily M. The Miseducation of Cameron Post. 2012. 480p. Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (9780062020567). Grades 9 & Up.
  • *King, A.S. Ask the Passengers. 2012. 304p. Little, Brown, $17.99 (9780316194686). Grades 9 & Up.
  • *Lo, Malinda. Adaptation. 2012. 400p. Little, Brown, $17.99 (9780316197960). Grades 9 & Up.
  • *Miller, Madeline. The Song of Achilles. 2012. 384p. HarperCollins, $25.99 (9780062060617). Grades 9 & Up.
  • *Moon, Sarah, editor. The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to Their Younger Selves. 2012. 288p. Scholastic, $17.99 (9780545399326). Grades 6 & Up.
  • *Rice-Gonzalez, Charles. Chulito: a Novel. 2011. 275p. Magnus Books, $14.95 (9781936833030). Grades 10 & Up.
  • *Saenz, Benjamin Alire. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. 2012. 368p. Simon & Schuster, $16.99 (9781442408920). Grades 9-12.
  • *Telgemeier, Raina. Drama. 2012. 240p. Scholastic Graphix, $23.99 (9780545326988). Grades 6 & Up.

I’ve read Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Ask the Passengers, Adaptation, and Drama and can attest to their wonderfulness. I look forward to reading the others!

Other personal favorites of mine from the list include Kiss the Morning Star, by Elissa Janine Hoole (fellow 2012 debut author!); 37 Things I Love (In No Particular Order), by Kekla Magoon; and Gone, Gone, Gone, by Hannah Moskowitz. I still haven’t yet read Personal Effects, by another of my fellow 2012 debut authors, E.M. Kokie, but from all I’ve heard I’m going to love it.

Each year I find the Rainbow List a great source for staying up with LGBTQ-themed lit for kids and teens. For Starting from Here to be so honored is, well… an honor!

Check out the 2013 Rainbow List here.


YAmazing Race

It’s that time again… time for the Apocalpysies’ YAmazing Race with MGnificent Prizes — a blog tour featuring over 50 debut young adult and middle grade authors and your chance to win great prizes!

Thanks for visiting this final stop on the “Egg a House” leg of the tour. (If you’ve come here first, be sure to start from the beginning for a full explanation of the rules!) Now, I’d like to introduce you to my book:

STARTING FROM HERE

A young adult novel from Amazon Children’s Publishing
(formerly Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books)
ISBN 13: 9780761462330
Order books: Indiebound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon
Download e-books: Kindle

Sixteen-year-old Colby Bingham’s heart has been broken too many times. Her mother is dead, her truck driver father is always away, and her almost girlfriend just dumped her for a guy. When an injured stray dog lands at her feet, she decides to care for it, against her better judgment. But new connections mean new opportunities for heartbreak. Terrified of another loss, Colby bolts at the first sign of trouble, managing to alienate her best friend, her father, the cute girl pursuing her, and even her dog’s vet, who’s taken Colby under her wing. Colby can’t start over, but can she learn how to move on?

Bonus Prize

In addition to grand prize drawing, all visitors who comment on this post will be entered into a prize drawing for a signed copy of Starting from Here!

And now… off you go to the finish line. Remember, you’ve got until Monday, October 29, at noon EST, to finish. Thanks again for stopping by!

ETA: The YAMazing Race with MGnificent Prizes is now over. The random number generator has spoken, and Commenter #27, Precious, is the winner of the signed copy of Starting from Here. Thanks, everyone, for your interest in my book. I hope you get a chance to read it!


My publisher sent me flowers on Starting from Here‘s release date! Of course, as you may recall, I was in Montana at the time. I returned home, completely unaware of the gift. And I continued to be unaware for several more days. Oops.

See, my house has three doors to the outside. Yet none of these doors is at the front of the house. And the flowers were delivered to the one door I rarely ever use. For over a week, they lay in a box on the stoop, getting rained on and rotting away.

Fortunately, the sweet folks at my publisher sent more. And wow, was it worth the wait!

Rainbow Roses

Those are honest-to-goodness roses with individually dyed petals. Check out how they match the book cover! I’ve brought them into work where staff and patrons keep stopping to gawk at them and finger the petals. I’ve lost count of how many times people have said, “How do they do that?”

Thanks again to Jenny at Amazon Children’s Publishing. These flowers are definitely getting your money’s worth in appreciation!


Today is the day! After many years of long work (and not a little waiting), my first young adult novel has its official “birthday.”

Starting from Here

Starting from Here
Add to Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old Colby Bingham’s heart has been broken too many times. Her mother is dead, her truck driver father is always away, and her almost girlfriend just dumped her for a guy. When an injured stray dog lands at her feet, she decides to care for it, against her better judgment. But new connections mean new opportunities for heartbreak. Terrified of another loss, Colby bolts at the first sign of trouble, managing to alienate her best friend, her father, the cute girl pursuing her, and even her dog’s vet, who’s taken Colby under her wing. Colby can’t start over, but can she learn how to move on?

Perhaps you’ve been wondering, “Should I buy this book for my dog?” I’ll let my friend Jasper Pretzel Von Piehl, an early adopter, answer that one.

Jasper and SFH

Looks like Jasper’s got a new favorite book!

For more information, including how to order a copy of the book for your dog, visit my Books page. Or ask your local library to purchase it!


It’s Read Across America Day, a celebration of literacy sponsored by the National Education Association. Not coincidentally, it’s also the birthday of Dr. Seuss, the late, great creator of that gem of a limited-vocabulary easy reader, The Cat in the Hat.

Now, last month, in what was probably a coincidence, Fuse #8 issued a challenge for folks to re-imagine scenes from Dr. Seuss books in the style of yet another famous illustrator of their choosing — to “Re-Seussify Seuss.” She posted the results yesterday.

And they are really something. From a delightfully deadpan Jon Klassen-style Cat in the Hat, to a Seussian circus overrun by Curious George-ish monkeys, to an uber-creepy Gammell-style ghoul reciting words from One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, each artist did, in my opinion, an ingenious job of capturing both the style of each illustrator while not forgetting the heart of Seuss.

And, um, I did one, too.

If you work with small kids, you’ve almost certainly seen — and, I’d imagine, been charmed — by the picture books of Todd Parr. His hallmarks are simple line drawings filled with bold colors, relentlessly cheerful characters, and the overt theme that diversity is not only okay but a wonderful thing in our world. (I’m also a big fan of Underwear Dos and Don’ts.) Hopefully if he sees this he’ll recognize it as the homage it is.

Please do check out all the submissions. The page was very slow to load yesterday, what with all the large images and heavy traffic, but I think things have settled down by now. And it’s worth the load-time, regardless.