Why I Write Realistic Fiction

I was at the Montgomery Book Festival last week on a “Just Keeping it Real” panel with Christina Mandelski, Stasia Ward Kehoe, and Jessica Warman (all fabulous and so much fun to spend the day with). Our books span the various genres under the umbrella of realistic fiction– mystery, romance, coming-of-age, historical. An audience member … Continue reading

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Fire Horse Girl Info and Inspiration

I could live my life on Pinterest. It caters to all my quirks in addition to my love of cork board. I created this Pinterest board to the YA Scavenger Hunt last month. I’ll post the link here in case you want to look around. It has some of my favorite websites about Angel Island … Continue reading


Put down the book and back away.

Happy Banned Book Week!   Celebrate your right to read by picking up a banned or challenged book. I put together some of my favorites in the link below.   Click here to see my board of some of my favorite banned and challenged books! “If there’s one American belief I hold above all others, … Continue reading

scavenger hunt

Authors Announced – YA Scavenger Hunt Fall 2013

I am excited to take part in the Fall 2013 YA Scavenger Hunt. Authors post tons of bonus material (extended scenes, cover reveals, extra info). Readers win books (each author gives away at least one book).  I’m on the Blue team! Click here for the YA Scavenger Hunt’s website. Posts go up Oct. 3 at noon … Continue reading


Double Seventh Festival – Chinese Valentines Day

It is the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, also known as Double Seventh Day. I have often heard this day described as the Chinese Valentines Day although it seems to have its own unique traditions and celebrations. It’s also called Young Women’s Day or Daughter’s Day. My favorite thing about this day – … Continue reading


Angel Island Poetry

For National Poetry Month, I am posting poems from the walls of the barracks on Angel Island. For today… There are tens of thousands of poems composed on these walls. They are all cries of complaint and sadness. The day I am rid of this prison and attain success, I must remember that this chapter … Continue reading


Dear Poet Project

I love this idea from the Academy of American Poets! Students read and respond to the poetry of poets who serve on the Academy’s Board of Chancellors. What a great opportunity to connect students with writers. There are specific instructions here for any other teachers or librarians who are interested. Select letters with receive a … Continue reading


Poetry of Angel Island

Happy National Poetry Month. I thought I would celebrate by sharing some of my favorite poems from the Angel Island Immigration Station. Angel Island was the point of entry for almost 300,000 immigrants coming to America from 1910-1940. The majority of those immigrants (around 175,000) were from China. The process of immigrating and landing on … Continue reading

Chinese New Year – Kitchen God

“That is what I always thought love would be. A kind of understanding.” “You are very romantic for a Fire Horse,” Spring Blossom said. “Maybe. I also like the story of the kitchen god who throws himself into the fire.” This is a story that I tried to work into THE FIRE HORSE GIRL several time. None … Continue reading

Sky with clouds texture

Chinese New Year – Animal Race

 “It is a horrible match,” I said. “A snake and a horse. We will do nothing but fight.” I have always loved the story of how the years got their animal names in the Chinese zodiac. There are many versions of this story, and several beautiful children’s books that tell the tale if you want … Continue reading

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