Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Celebrate the Texas Library Association Annual Conference with The Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels!


The Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels look forward to TLA all year, and it's finally here! We hope you all will come by our annual reception and say hi (and of course, maybe grab a cookie or two)!

Our complete schedule is below, including currently published book signings, ARC signings, and more. Please make sure to mention you read our newsletter when you come by! And be prepared to tell us whether you are a Sweetheart or a Scoundrel :)

***TLA Schedule***  

 

Monday, April 7th







Wednesday, April 9th
  • 10:15-11:00 - P. J. Hoover & Jessica Lee Anderson book signing - Booth 2522 (Overlooked Books booth)     

  • 10:15-11:00 - Don Tate -
    THE CART THAT CARRIED MARTIN signing - Author area

  • 11:00-12:00 - Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels Annual Reception - Booth 2522 (Overlooked Books Booth)

  • Odd Girl In 11:00-12:00 - Jo Whittemore book signing - Booth 2243 (Book Festivals of Texas booth)

  • 2:00-3:00 - Don Tate -
    THE CART THAT CARRIED MARTIN signing - Charlesbridge Booth 2440

  • 3:00-4:00 - P. J. Hoover & Jessica Lee Anderson book signing - Booth 2243 (Book Festivals of Texas booth)

  • 4:00-5:00 - K. A. Holt -
    RHYME SCHEMER ARC signing - Author area









Thursday, April 10th
  • 9:00-10:00 - Don Tate book signing - Booth 2522
    (Overlooked Books booth)   

  • 9:30-10:00 - TT4L Event - P. J. Hoover, K. A. Holt

  • 10:45-11:15 - P. J. Hoover -
    TUT: THE STORY OF MY IMMORTAL LIFE ARC signing - Tor/Macmillan Booth 1448

  • 11:00-12:00 - Don Tate READ TO THE RHYTHM poster signing - Booth 1835 (iREAD booth)

  • 12:00-2:00 -YART Texas Tea Event - P. J. Hoover, K. A. Holt

 See you there!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spring Forward with The Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels!

Spring Forward with 
The Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels! 
  
 Following a colder than normal winter, many Texans are experiencing cabin fever. But the Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels are not waiting on Mother Nature to heat things up. Each and every one of us - P.J., Jessica, Kari, Jo, Jeanette, and Don -has a burning desire to inspire young children and teens to read more books. So we are saying goodbye to winter hibernation and turning up the heat on our already busy schedules, in order to reach more kids.

Here is a look at what is happening now, and what is ahead:
 
 
NEWS & UPDATES
 
NEWS FROM P.J. HOOVER 
 
March has been a busy and exciting month for P. J. Hoover. First, and foremost, P. J. is thrilled to reveal the cover for her brand new middle grade novel, TUT: THE STORY OF MY IMMORTAL LIFE (Starscape/Macmillan, September 16, 2014). TUT is the story of King Tut (yes, the boy king), but he's fourteen, immortal, and lives in modern-day Washington, D.C with his one-eyed cat, Horus. When his crazy uncle Horemheb shows up after being locked in a tomb for 3000 years, Tut enlists the help of the dorky kid from school who wants to be his best friend and the mysterious new girl who's got secrets of her own.
  
A Common Core guide for TUT: THE STORY OF MY IMMORTAL LIFE can be found here.
  
*****
  
P. J. braved ice and snow to spend a wonderful week in Mansfield, Texas visiting intermediate and middle schools. She visited four schools in all (T. A. Howard MS, Jobe MS, Wester MS, and Lillard Intermediate School), met some wonderful librarians and teachers, and had a fantastic time talking with kids about her books, her path to writing, and what it's like to be an author. P. J. still has room available during May if you're interested in a school visit for this school year, and she is also actively booking school visits and speaking events for next fall, so please contact P. J. if you think you might be interested in a school visit. More information on P. J.'s visits can be found on her visits page.
  
******
 
with Marsha Riti, Amy Farrier, Samantha Clark, Cynthia Leitich Smith, & Jeff Crosby Photo credit: Greg Leitich Smith
Just before spring break, P. J. spoke at the monthly Austin SCBWI meeting on the topic of World Building. She covered everything from Terry Pratchett to the Hobbit and loved the crowd that turned out for the event. Thank you! She's looking forward to attending the April monthly meeting featuring Austin librarians on a panel talking about school visits.
  
******
In other news, P. J. discovered West Texas over spring break on a family road trip visiting Fort Davis, Pecos, Carlsbad Caverns, and Roswell. Texas is an amazing state with so much to offer, and it's wonderful living here!
  
*****
  
NEWS FROM JESSICA LEE ANDERSON

Jessica Lee Anderson looks forward to visiting the Alternative Learning Center in Austin on April 17, 2014.  Jessica offers programs for all ages and still has availability this spring.  Don't hesitate to contact her for more information.  
  
***** 
  
NEWS FROM KARI ANNE ROY
 
Kari is excited to announce a redesign to her website: www.kaholt.com. Swing by and check it out! She's also thrilled to have been able to take sneak peek at the new discussion guide created for her forthcoming middle grade novel, RYHME SCHEMER (October 2014, Chronicle). The discussion guide and ARCs of RHYME SCHEMER will be available at the TLA conference next month. Woo!
 
 
NEWS FROM DON TATE

Photo by Frances Woolsey, Doss Elementary
Educator Open House and Presentation
Don will speak next month at Barnes & Noble in Garland, Texas (Firewheel Towne Center), as a part of their Educator Appreciation Day, on Saturday April 19. The event runs from 10 to 12 a.m. Educators will receive free materials for their classrooms and refreshments will be served. Be sure to register for prizes. In addition to a chance to win a NOOK and a $500 gift card from B&N, Don will give away one half-day school presentation. Yes, Don will present at your school at no cost! 
A book signing will follow the B&N event. See here for more information.

In addition, Don would like to visit schools on the two days leading up the the event. For that reason - and because of the short notice - Don is offering a very reduced honorarium for those days (half day rate for a full day visit). Please
contact the Booking Biz to inquire and make arrangements.

Don's School Visits 

Don recently visited schools in the sandy town of Monahans, Texas. Yes, sand-and a lot of it! "The librarians there are super," Don said, "and the children are big readers. I was impressed."   

Don still has plenty of days open to book a school visit in April and May.

*******

NEWS FROM JEANETTE LARSON
 
Jeanette Larson is currently booking public library and school presentations for the summer. In addition to talking about writing and reading, summer programs can include a craft activity. Kids enjoy making hummingbird Mardi Gras-style masks or hummingbird feeders. Jeanette is also pleased to announce that she is moving to the Coastal Bend area, making it easier to visit libraries in the Rio Grande Valley and other South Texas locations. Contact Jeanette at jeanette@jeanettelarson.com.


FEATURED SWEETHEARTS!

 
 
Our Featured Sweetheart for this month is librarian Norma Chapa of Sunset Valley Elementary. Don Tate nominated Norma for no other reason than, "She has a kind spirit and I was touched by her heart and personal story."


Monday, February 17, 2014

Happy Winter from The Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels!

HAPPY WINTER 
from 
The Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels! 
 
 
It's been a cold, crazy winter here in the heart of Texas! We've had delayed school, snow days, and some record-breaking chilly temperatures. Snow days, while wreaking havoc on scheduling and activities, make for wonderful days to stay home and read a great book. We hope you have discovered some wonderful gems this season in your to-be-read pile!

With spring approaching, we Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels have so much to look forward to. TLA is right around the corner, and we are hoping to see many of you there! In the meantime, however, here are the latest going-ons with us.


NEWS & UPDATES
 
NEWS FROM P.J. HOOVER 
 
P. J.'s School Visits

January and February have been filled with wonderful school visits for P. J. Hoover
. Since our last newsletter, P. J. visited Laurel Mountain Elementary where she presented to 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades. She also spent a few days in Irving, Texas speaking to eight different middle schools. This past week, P. J. stayed closer to home and visited O. Henry Middle School and Martin Middle School, both here in Austin. The kids had awesome questions, and it was so nice meeting some new librarians!

Now is a great time to think about treating your kids to an author visit in May after testing is complete! More information on P. J.'s author visits can be found on her website visit page.  


Montgomery County Book Festival 


This past weekend, P. J.
P. J. with Jessica Brody. We dubbed our panel the "Purple Panel." 
traveled to Houston to participate in the Montgomery Country Book Festival Literary Love-Fest. She was on the "It's More than just Robots and Outer Space" panel along with Marissa Meyer, Jessica Brody, Lindsay Cummings, and Belle Whittington. Thousands of teens turned out, and the panel attendance was standing room only!

  

  



NEWS FROM DON TATE

Eve Bunting Book Drawing

Winners were announced on Don's blog on February 4th. Don was not able to make contact with one winner, so if no response has been received by the end of this week (2/21), another name will be drawn.   

Don Tate (link here) and Eve Bunting (link here) discuss their book, The Cart That Carried Martin (Charlesbridge).   



Don was a featured author in the 22nd Annual African American Children's Book Festival in Philadelphia, where hundreds of children and their families came out to purchase and celebrate books. See Snapshots from the festival on the Lee & Low Blog

Several Fort Worth area librarians have suggested that Don's first authored book, It Jes' Happened, become a RIF title. And guess what-the book has now been included in RIF's (Reading Is Fundamental) 2013-2014 STEAM Multicultural Booklist (Grades Pre-K to 5). So what does this mean? It means that more than 3,200 children in low-income communities throughout the U.S. will receive a copy of Don's book, and many others.  

Don's School Visits 

Don recently completed a full week of school visits in Richland and Garland, Texas, where he presented 24 presentations to 7 schools. "I was so impressed with the children," Don said, "who gave me their complete undivided attention. They were so excited and asked great questions. Speaks to the hard work of their school librarians."   

Next week, Don looks forward to a week of school visits in Killeen, Texas. For more information about Don's school visit program, see Don's website. Don still has plenty of days open to book a school visit in April and May.


NEWS FROM JESSICA LEE ANDERSON

Jessica Lee Anderson recently made some updates to her website, so swing on and say hello! She has some availability for school visits this spring, so please contact her for more information.
 
 
FEATURED SWEETHEARTS!
 
 
Our Featured Sweethearts for this month are librarians in the Richland and Garland schools: Kathy Chicoine, Taressa Anderson, Toni Dowd, Amy Shaffner, Ann Rubin, Shannon Glidden. Pictured here is Ms. Robin McMahan, librarian Heather Glen in Garland. Thank you for working so hard on behalf of literacy for kids! (nominated by Don Tate)

 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR NEWS!

In the sentiments of Winnie the Pooh, 2014 feels like a grand adventure is about to begin. We're already exploding with good news!


 
  
Did you make any resolutions for 2014? Or did you resolve not to make any resolutions? Either way, we hope this will be a rewarding and grand year for you! One of our goals for this year is to connect with you, so check out the calendar sections on our websites to find out where we'll be. Please note that we're still scheduling school and library visits for this spring.  
  
NEWS & UPDATES
  
  
NEWS FROM JO WHITTEMORE
 
Jo Whittemore is thrilled to announce the sale of SIX new books to Harper Collins for a humorous middle grade series, CONFIDENTIALLY YOURS, about students writing an advice column and all the ways it can go wrong. 
  

  
  
  
NEWS FROM P.J. HOOVER
  
P. J. finished up 2013 with an amazing school visit at Gorzycki Middle School in Austin and started 2014 with an equally amazing school visit to Taylor Middle School! If you're considering an author visit at your school, please contact P. J.

P. J. is also getting excited for her next book. TUT: THE STORY OF MY IMMORTAL LIFE will be released September 16, 2014 from Tor/Starscape. More details to come, but copyedits are done (!), the cover is currently being designed (P. J. just had a sneak peak at a cover sketch), and P. J. is hard at work at a secret project tied into the book. Go, King Tut!


  
NEWS FROM JEANETTE LARSON
  
Jeanette invites you to check out her blog, Bird Brainz, where she talks about birding and books. For those of you around the Texas Coastal Bend area, Jeanette will be spending more time birding in your area, making it easier to book school visits! 
  
  
NEWS FROM DON TATE
  
New Author-Illustrator Photos!
  
Over the holidays, Don had new author-illustrator photos taken by the wonderful Sam Bond Photography. For school visits or other literary events, feel free to download photos from his website.
  
  
  
  
 The Cart That Carried Martin giveaway
  
In honor of Black History Month, Don will give away two signed copies of his newest book with Eve Bunting, The Cart That Carried Martin. The books will be signed by both Don and Eve! Two ways to enter the drawing:  #1: Like Don's Facebook page and be sure to leave a comment anywhere mentioning the giveaway. #2: Simply send Don an email and he'll enter you in the drawing. The drawing will be held on February 4, and the winners announced on his blog. Due to shipping costs, books will be shipped to US mailing addresses only.
  
  
The book was recently reviewed in the New York Times with Don's art for the final spread prominently displayed.  How exciting!
  
It was an ordinary cart pulled by ordinary mules. On the day of Dr. Martin Luther King's funeral, that humble cart carried greatness. On April 9th, 1968, on the streets of Atlanta, that cart carried the body of Dr. Martin Luther King. A crowd of tens of thousands of people followed behind.
  
"An affecting snapshot of a tragic day." - Kirkus Reviews
  
School visits
  
Don's first school visit kicks off in North Texas! He will present his school visit program to students at Taylor Elementary in Grapevine, Texas on January 16, and to students at Colleyville Elementary in Colleyville, Texas, on the 17th. Plenty of dates are still open for school visits during the months of March, April and May. Please contact Don early to book school library visits.
  
" Thank you again . . . Your presentations were outstanding!
Library Media Specialist/CTL, NISD
  
  
NEWS FROM K.A. HOLT
  
Kari is looking forward to the release of new her book, RHYME SCHEMER, in the fall, and she is busy drafting her latest book, HOUSE ARREST, due out in fall 2015.
  
 
NEWS FROM JESSICA LEE ANDERSON
  
Jessica Lee Anderson also has a new author photo!

  
  
  
Jessica recently completed a fun work-for-hire project for an educational publisher focused on emergent readers.  Jessica has published stories from Pre-K to YA and offers a variety of school and library presentations appropriate for each grade level.  She's a former certified teacher and is quite passionate about education! Please visit her website for more information about visits.
  
Jessica is also pleased to announce she's now represented by Erzsi Deak at Hen & Ink Literary Studio. 
  
   
  
    
  
Jessica Lee Anderson's little Sweetheart is a huge fan of Emma Virjan's NACHO THE PARTY PUPPY! 
  
Thanks to Emma for the banner design!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

November News and Updates!

NEWS & UPDATES

 
NEWS FROM P.J. HOOVER 
 
P. J. Hoover is thrilled to announce that her school visit presentations are now aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). She would love the opportunity to partner with educators in supporting students' writing development. Her presentation meets academic standards and offers substantive follow-up projects and topics for discussion. 
   
 A Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Aligned Analysis and Post-Presentation Discussion & Writing Lesson Application Guide for P. J.'s author presentations that is appropriate for Grades 3-12 can be found and downloaded here.

Please contact P. J. directly for author visit inquiries. She would love to visit your school!

Says librarian Dorcas Hand of Annunciation Orthodox School,
"P.J. Hoover was a huge hit with our 4th-8th grades. She made the classic Hero's Journey a metaphor for life that allowed her to talk about changing career paths, writing & revision, and mythology all in a consistent narrative that engaged the kids. Teachers were thrilled at the motivational aspects of her talk..."
More information on P. J.'s author visits can be found on her website visit page.  
 


  


NEWS FROM DON TATE

In October, Don was a featured author-illustrator in the Texas Book Festival. In addition, he participated in the Texas Book Festival's Reading Rock Star program and presented his works at two economically-disadvantaged public schools, where each student received a book.   

"It was so cool to see the happy expression on the children's faces when they received their very own book. For many students, it was the first book they'd ever owned," Tate says.

Last week, Don completed a full week of school visits in Fort Worth area schools. "The librarians were amazing!" Don says.
"They prepared the students by having them write and draw, and even create high tech presentations based upon my books."

Upon leaving Fort Worth, Don headed off to Savannah, Georgia where he was a featured author in the Savannah Children's Book Festival.
School Visits
Don loves to visit school libraries and share his book making experiences with students.

"Your presentations were outstanding!"said a Fort Worth librarian, "It was just what our students needed to hear."

Currently Don is booking school visits for January through May. Don will present at area schools in the Dallas area during the third week of January, in Richardson (Dallas) during the second week of February, and in Killeen the first week of March. Feel free to contact Don about visiting your school during those same weeks, or others. Don understands that library budgets have been challenged as of late.

Contact Don before determining that an author visit is out of the question. He will work with you to help make a visit happen.





NEWS FROM JEANETTE LARSON


If you are not able to drop by The Book Spot, you can order personalized books to be mailed to you by clicking here.
NEWS FROM JESSICA LEE ANDERSON

Jessica Lee Anderson had a wonderful time visiting the Girls' School of Austin! She will continue to offer discounted school visit rates to schools in the San Antonio and Austin area.  Please visit her website for more information:

The Writing Ninjas Attack Austin Comic Con!



On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday November 22-24, 2013, four members of the Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels will be part of the Writing Ninjas:

P. J. Hoover, Jessica Lee Anderson, K. A. Holt, and Jo Whittemore!

We'll be performing a stealthy but deadly assault on the Austin Comic Con.  We will be at booths #428/430 where we will be signing copies of our books.



Our postcards!



Come by our booth for candy, free books, and the chance to get your favorite Writing Ninja books signed.

THE AUTHORS!
OUR FEATURED BOOKS!

Solstice Border Crossing The Sweet Dead Life The Veil Brains For Lunch: A Zombie Novel in Haiku?! Scorched Dear Teen Me

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A SPOOKTACULAR MONTH with the Texas Sweethearts and Scoundrels!

Hello, boys and ghouls! Here's some news we've been dying to share. So many exciting things going on, it's frightening! (Are the puns killing you yet?) Read on to see what October's about.

We are all scheduling school and library visits, so give us a shout if your school is looking for a fun visit. Also, check out our news or the calendar sections on our websites to find out where we'll be this fall.  We'd love to be able to visit with you in person!

NEWS & UPDATES
 
NEWS FROM P.J. HOOVER
This Saturday is the Texas Book Festival here in Austin, Texas. Located down at the Capital, the Texas Book Festival has something for everyone!
If you're interested in young adult books or books about girls with special powers, P. J. will be on a panel on Saturday, October 26th, 2013 from 1:30-2:30 pm.
In addition to P.J., the panel will be made up of Jessica Khoury (author of Origin), Cynthia Leitich Smith (author of Feral Nights), and Kami Garcia (author of Unbreakable) and will be moderated by local Austin author Sean Petrie.
   
P. J. Hoover has had a busy month filled with school visits and regional librarian conferences. She enjoyed visiting Cathey Middle School and Mission High School in McAllen, Texas, prior to the Region 1 Librarian Conference in South Padre Island. It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces, and nice to meet so many new friends.
 
In addition, P. J. just spent a week in Allen, Texas talking to 7th graders about the Hero's Journey and how it relates to writing and life in general. This Friday, P. J. will visit Annunciation Orthodox School in Houston where she will be talking with 4th-8th graders.
 
 
 
P. J. enjoys speaking to kids of all ages, and her favorite presentation is "My Quest for the Golden Fleece: 12 Things I've Learned on my Hero's Journey."
 
Structured around mythology and The Hero's Journey, she talks about the importance of goal setting (and sticking to those goals!), facing fears, and getting back up after failure to try again and again until success is achieved. She also talks about the writing process, from ideas to revisions, from rejections to publication. For kids who are interested in mythology or who are learning about The Hero's Journey, it is a great tie-in because they can relate.
 
Attention Region 2 (Corpus) and Region 12 (Waco) librarians! P. J. Hoover will be at the Regional Librarian Conferences in November. Please come by and say hello!
 
Upcoming Signings for P. J.:
P. J. will be talking with readers and signing Solstice at the Houston BOOKRAVE event on Saturday, November 2nd at the Zotz Education Center.  
P. J. will  be signing at the Round Rock, TX Barnes & Noble with author Cynthia Leitich Smith on Saturday, November 9th at 2:00.

NEWS FROM DON TATE

Don Tate has written and sold a new nonfiction picture book! And Charlesbridge Publishing snatched up the story exactly a month after Don finished putting the final touches on it. It's still too early to discuss details, but Don says the book will publish in 2017, and is the story many have asked him to write. Don can't wait to share his writing and research process with students.
Don will present the book he illustrated, Hope's Gift, this Sunday at the Children's Read Me a Story Tent (13th and Colorado streets) at the Texas Book Festival.

The Cart That Carried Martin, Don's newest book with Eve Bunting, received a starred review from Booklist (American Library Association)! See the November issue of Booklist for the rave review.




School visits

(Students in Garland, Texas share drawings created from visual problem solving activity.)

Don't let budget cuts and bureaucrats keep your students away from the inspiration of an in-person author/illustrator from Don Tate. Librarians are facing challenging times due to cuts, and Don is fully aware. Don's presentations are competitively priced -- AND ALWAYS NEGOTIABLE. Some schools have found it helpful to partner with each other, splitting the morning and afternoon as well as the day fee. Contact Don to discuss your budget and needs for a school visit.

NEWS FROM JO WHITTEMORE

Jo is tickled to share the Polish cover of her well-reviewed novel Odd Girl In from Aladdin MIX. The title translates to
This Girl is a Little Strangebut no matter how you say it, we think it's a hilarious read!
 
  
 
NEWS FROM JESSICA LEE ANDERSON

Jessica Lee Anderson is continuing to offer discounted half-day school visit rates to schools in and around the San Antonio/Austin area.

Please visit www.jessicaleeanderson.com for school visit and contact information.