Monthly Archives: November 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: The Apothecary

Author Shannon Whitney Messenger began Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays a while back. If you love middle grade literature, check out her blog on Mondays for a list of other sites featuring MG books.

Today I’ll talk about The Apothecary by Maile Meloy*.

From Goodreads: It’s 1952 and the Scott family has just moved from Los Angeles to London.  Here, fourteen-year-old Janie meets a mysterious apothecary and his son, Benjamin Burrows—a fascinating boy who’s not afraid to stand up to authority and dreams of becoming a spy. When Benjamin’s father is kidnapped, Janie and Benjamin must uncover the secrets of the apothecary’s sacred book, the Pharmacopoeia, in order to find him, all while keeping it out of the hands of their enemies—Russian spies in possession of nuclear weapons. Discovering and testing potions they never believed could exist, Janie and Benjamin embark on a dangerous race to save the apothecary and prevent impending disaster.

From Vicki: First off, as Janie and Benjamin are 14, calling this middle grade might be a stretch, but only a tiny one. I think the content and tone still fit.

Cold War-era London setting. Tiny blossoms of feelings toward the opposite sex. A sacred book. Transformative elixirs. Adventure and intrigue. What is not to like?

The details, both historical and alchemical, are amazing. The characters are distinct and memorable, and some are quite amusing. Ms. Meloy even referenced Great Expectations! If you’ve followed my blog long enough, then you know how I feel about Great Expectations.

Have you read anything good about alchemy lately?

*Thanks to Akoss Ketoglo for another great MG recommendation!



Filed under Reading

Remembrances of New Jersey

In honor of today being the day we observe Veterans Day in the United States, I have two goals:

First, thank you to RocketMan for his service to our country. He’ll wave this away and want me to instead thank and honor the men and women fighting right now for our freedom. And I do thank them. But everyone who served even a day deserves our thanks. So…thanks.

Second, I need to remember the Jersey Shore in the wake of Sandy’s destruction. I wasn’t born a Jersey Girl, but I grew up only two hours away from the shore. My friends and I spent the weekend after our prom at Seaside Heights. I lived in Hoboken for a few years when I first came back from Africa. And RocketMan and I told his family about our first pregnancy at Jenkinson’s Boardwalk in Point Pleasant.

RocketMan grew up near there. He has many more memories than I do. Knowing how much those photos break my heart, I can’t even imagine how he and my in-laws and some of our closest friends feel. A piece of their childhoods are now gone.

Rebuilding will be a long, hard road, but worth it in the end to so many people.

Thank you for reading my maudlin post today. Now I’ll go back to NaNoWriMo, work, and the kids. What do you go back to?


Filed under The rest of my life

NEW PRIDE Release Day Blitz!

I’m so pleased to help my friend Laura Diamond celebrate release day. So, without further ado, in her own words:

It’s here! My prequel novelette, NEW PRIDE, releases today. I’m SO stoked for it to run wild in the world.

NEW PRIDE was born from my upcoming novel, SHIFTING PRIDE (coming December 7, 2012!). In SHIFTING PRIDE, the main character, Nickie, searches for her missing father, Richard…and NEW PRIDE is all about Richard’s journey to independence and new love.


New town, new love, new terror.

A shape-shifter without a pride, Richard Leone strikes a tenuous friendship with power hungry, Derek, from an unstable, rogue group. On a hunt in the forest, they encounter a gorgeous brunette, Molly, partying with friends around a campfire. Derek tells the rogue pride and they bristle at humans trespassing on their territory. Richard risks life and tail to protect his secret and the humans—especially Molly—while simultaneously trying to win her heart. When Molly is kidnapped, he faces taking on the rogue pride alone, but quickly finds he has to put his trust in Derek, not only to rescue his new love, but to ensure the rogue pride doesn’t wreak havoc on his new town.

Author Laura Diamond:

Laura Diamond is a board certified psychiatrist and author of all things young adult paranormal, dystopian, horror, and middle grade. Her short story, City of Lights and Stone, is in the Day of Demons anthology by Anachron Press (April 2012) and her apocalyptic short story, Begging Death is in the Carnage: Life After the End anthology by Sirens Call Publication (coming late 2012). Her debut young adult paranormal romance, SHIFTING PRIDE, is coming December 2012 by Etopia Press. When she’s not writing, she is working at the hospital, blogging at Author Laura Diamond–Lucid Dreamer , and renovating her 225+ year old fixer-upper mansion. She is also full-time staff member for her four cats and a Pembroke Corgi named Katie.

How to find Laura Diamond on the web:

Facebook Author Page Author Page

YouTube interview:

In The DM Zone—Talking about SHIFTING PRIDE

A bonus:

I will be giving away copies of NEW PRIDE to several lucky fans! Please click here and fill out the form on my fan page to enter.


And you can buy NEW PRIDE now!


Filed under Getting Published