Tell the Wolves I’m Home


Just finished this wonderful book. Technically YA, but really a good adult read. As previously mentioned, sometimes I hate reading something this terrific, because I know I will not write anything like that. It made me cry. On the other hand, it didn’t make me laugh. I can do that! It would be nice to make someone cry with my writing…not the “I can’t believe I spent $22 on this book” crying, however.

In keeping with an earlier post, today’s city is Burlington, VT.

Popular in Italy


Examining my stats, I also seem to be popular in Italy. I have had random visits form Angola, UAE, Barbados, Malaysia and Algeria, but I don’t count a country until I get at least 3. So my plan is to mention a different city and state in every post and see how that works. Sioux City, Iowa, you’re up!



When I find a book only mildly entertaining, it doesn’t matter to me if there are holes in the plot. When I really love a book even a tiny one bothers me, and big ones keep me up at night trying to ‘fix’ them. This is what comes of writing too many mysteries. I have mentally ‘fixed’ a very important plothole and I would be happy to share it with the author, who is not now, nor shall ever read this blog.*

*I would tell you her name, but I don’t want anyone to think it was a cheap way of tricking Michelle Hodkin into finding me. Also, she might think I’m a literary stalker.

YA Cliches


Now well into reading my 2,063rd YA novel, I’ve discovered that nearly all the love relationships use one or more of the following conventions.

1. Protagonists seemingly unhappy about being forced to work on a school project together.

2. Incredibly dangerous and/or bad boy to whom the female protagonist is drawn to in a ‘The lady doth too much protest, methinks’ sort of way.

3. Male protagonist who pretends he doesn’t like female protagonist, because he thinks he will be bad for her

4. Female protagonist who has secret power that could hurt male protagonist. Neither of them is aware of this, natch.

Even before I finished reading a single YA novel, I had managed to use everyone of the above conventions in one or more of my three novels. YIPPEE!



Through the magic of technology I am able to see where my blog visitors come from. Not as in 5000 Forbes (shout out to everybody at CMU), or even Pittsburgh or Pennsylvania, but I am able to see the country of origin. It seems that nearly every day, for reasons I cannot fathom, I get at least one or two visitors from Brazil. I’m guessing it’s the same one or two, so I’d like to say ‘Obrigado’ to my loyal Brazilian followers, and to any other Brazilians who just happen to be here by mistake.



Just finished a fun and very authentic romance in which half the ‘cast’ is comprised of working class Hispanic teens. And yet, in my research, I discovered that the author is Jewish (as am I) and middle aged (as I wish I still were). She also lives somewhere near where I grew up (seriously upper middle class). In fairness, I note that she is from a Sephardic Jewish family, which means somewhere in her distant past somebody lived in Spain, but I doubt they have a relationship unless she owns a Ouija board. So how, you might ask*, did she do such a good job? Well, as one of the six people who actually read acknowledgments** I also noted that she talked to a lot of actual teens Why didn’t I think of that?

*or you might not, and who could blame you?

** Excluding people who actually were acknowledged



YA characters tend to have first names like Paisley, Questen, Cashew, Danforth, Gabardine, Garter, Calamine, Rockwell, and other monikers that have never, ever made the top 50 list. Who are these people, and what is wrong with their parents?


I realize it’s been a while since I used the phrase “As the late great (fill in the blank with name of departed important person) once said to me” for some time. I think it is because most of the great people who ever said something to me worth quoting are still around. Which is good.

Protagonists With Class


Another observation after having read approximately 12,000 YA books; Romances tend to be between the very poor and the very wealthy, unless they are between the normal and the paranormal. Sometimes they are between the upper middle class and the obscenely wealthy. Not a whole lot of them between two middle class kids.*

*Not that I’ve written one of those.