Sorry for being gone for so long, but I was recuperating from a wee bit o' surgery.
Lots better now and ready to chat. Also got a lot of books read. I adored Meg Cabot's new middle grade book, Allie Finkle's Rules For Girls. Such a great read. And you know, even though there are lots of best friend stories out there, there's always room for a new one. Especially one with as great a voice at Cabot's. In fact, that was my takeaway lesson from this read, with a great, big, fresh voice, everything is new again.
I also started The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. This blew my writing world wide open, daring things I would never have even allowed myself to consider. I adore it when books do that.
I also read a couple of adult books; Mistress of the Art of Death by Arianna Franklin and I reread Silent in the Grave and Silent in the Sanctuary by Deanna Raybourn. Those last two books in particular are comfort reads for me. I love these books because they're such great historicals, Mistress in the Art of Death taking place in medieval England, while the Silent books take place in Victorian England. While they both center on murder plots, for me the overwhelming appeal is the characters and the lovely historical accuracy, not just of the setting, but the worldview of the characters. Anyway, great reads, although I must warn you, the Mistress of the Art of Death book deals with some very guresome children's murders--I read those parts with my eyes squinched shut.