Tuesday, March 27, 2012


We are so happy to showcase our newest featured sweetheart, Pamela Thompson, today on the blog! Pamela was recommended by Leslie Rush, and we want to thank them both for their support!

In Pamela's own words...

I'm a "ya librarian, book reviewer, blogger and writer--not yet discovered...and I write a young adult novels review column for The El Paso Times.

visit my ya novels blog at http://booksbypamelathompson.blogspot.com/

Nominated Best Blog 2012, Texas Association of School Librarians, Texas Library Association

now a featured blog on the Texas Library Association webpage

now a featured blog of the Pennsylvania Department of Education "Books, Blogs & Fan Sites" http://palibraries.libguides.com/content.php?pid=261432&sid=2159888

now a featured resource on A Book and a Hug


TXS&S: You run an amazing young adult book blog that's been widely received. Can you tell us a little bit about what you do and who or what inspires you?

Pamela: Young adult publishing is so exciting and talented ya writers are amazing! I'm on fire each time I see or hear of a new title! Walking through the local book store gets me all tingly inside. I search the ya section for undiscovered novels that I may have missed. I am inspired by teens I see and meet in the book store. We talk ya novels and what they are passionate about. Try it--have a talk with a few teenagers and they will astound you! Lucky for me, I have always worked with teenagers.

I want to give a shout out to an inspiring librarian and fellow Texan. I had imagined blogging for about four years before starting one (my blog began 2 years ago), and then I started reading some fantastic ya lit. I wanted to tell others (librarians and teens) about what I read and recommend some great novels. I stumbled upon Naomi Bates's ya blog and was -- have to admit--a wee bit jealous. I thought, if she can do it, I CAN do it! That's when that "aha" moment enveloped me. I was hooked.
I met Naomi at the Egmont booth at last year's Texas Library Convention. We hugged and laughed like old friends! We each said the same thing, "I LOVE your blog!"

TXS&S: What were your goals when you started blogging, and how has that vision changed now that some time has gone by?

Pamela: My one and only goal at first was to see if I could even write/handle/manage a blog. I didn't want to start a blog and let it fizzle out. My goal was to keep the blog active with new posts.

My vision is the same as it was. I post new reviews at least twice a week and sponsor a book giveaway every week or every other week. Readers of the blog can win copies of new and exciting ya titles. Currently, Spy School by Stuart Gibbs is featured.

Since I'm now hooked--and I mean literally--I have to spend time on my blog daily.

TXS&S: What has been the biggest surprise since you've started?

Pamela: I started the blog to satisfy my own need to write and recommend books I liked. My biggest surprise is that authors, librarians and teens who follow my reviews actually purchase books based on my recommendations.

And a pleasant surprise, teens "get" me!

TXS&S: How do you see reading changing for teens in the next couple years? What challenges do you see? And what can we do to help?

Pamela: Reading is becoming a team sport. Look at what's happened with the excitement surrounding The Hunger Games (movie out last Friday!). Teens are excited by what their friends/peers are reading. I have a teen daughter, so I see it first hand. If I have a book she thinks is interesting, right after I review it, it's in her hands, and then its passed on to each one of her friends. She thinks having a librarian/reviewer/blogger mother is cool, and it certainly does have its perks! She and all her friends know about what new books are coming and when way before anyone else. A number of her friends are follow my blog.

The challenges in publishing are to find new talent and to publish what is truly the best, innovative voices. Writers will need to push themselves to find that undiscovered "new" ya niche.

TXS&S: Would you consider yourself a Sweetheart or a Scoundrel?

Pamela: I think I'm a Sweetheart with inner Scoundrel just dying to surface...

Thanks for opportunity!

TXS&S: Than you so much for being here! We are honored!

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Joy of being an Author

Nothing quite shows the joy of seeing one's books (or ARCs) for the first time like this video Don Tate made for his book IT JES' HAPPENED: WHEN BILL TRAYLOR STARTED TO DRAW!

Congratulations, Don! We are so happy for you!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


****Happy St. Patty's Day****



seven authors & illustrators who write for kids and teens

Talk about luck of the Irish! The Sweethearts & Scoundrels wrapped up a stellar February and are heading into March with enough exciting news to make a leprechaun green with envy. We're just lucky Emma Virjan managed to catch one in good spirits for this month's illustration!


In mid-February, the Austin SCBWI held their annual conference with a killer lineup on faculty. The chapter provided them with Texas hospitality treats, and the Sweethearts & Scoundrels couldn't help coming up with their own swag bag!

(Some of you may recognize the infamous Peepy, Lisa Yee's traveling companion on her many adventures. Lisa did an excellent writeup of her trip to Austin, which you can read about here.)


Keeping on an Austin theme, Don Tate is pleased to announce that he'll be teaming up as illustrator for award-winning Austin author Chris Barton's new picture book The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch. Congrats, Don!

Don has also just completed a huge school visit tour, that included 23 schools in Irving and Duncanville Texas, and 5 schools in Alexandria, Va. Audiences included all ages, from pre-k through college (University of Dallas). You can check out a few quick pics here.
Also, Don's proud to present a book teaser/trailer for his newest It Jes' Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw (Lee & Low Books). You can watch the magic here!

Even more good news: Jeanette Larson's Hummingbirds: Facts and Folklore from the Americas was named an honor book by the National Storytelling Network in their 2012 Storytelling World Resources Award. The honor is in the category for Special Storytelling Resources and recognizes works for their "usefulness for storytellers."
If you're in the Austin area, Jeanette will be speaking at the March meeting of the Capital Area Master Naturalists on Wednesday, March 28 at 7:00 p.m. Information is here. Meetings are free and open to the public.

K.A. Holt and Jeanette represented the Sweethearts & Scoundrels for an event at Lakeline Mall in Cedar Park in celebration of the 75th anniversary of Dr. Seuss's first published book. They read Dr. Seuss books and had fun with a ton of kids!

P. J. Hoover, Jessica Lee Anderson, and Jeanette were honored to attend the Cowtown Book Festival on March 2, 2012 in Fort Worth, Texas. The yearly event brings in librarians for ESC Region 11. More information can be found here.

(Jessica & P.J. with author/illustrator Jeff Crosby and author Tom McDermott)

P. J. Hoover is excited to be part of the SXSW Tools of Change Publishing Conference taking place this Friday, March 9, 2012 from 11:30am-12:10pm. P. J. will be on a Texas Book Festival sponsored panel. The Festival's literary director, Clay Smith, will moderate a panel titled "The DI(Almost)Y Author Marketing Platform." Other writers on the panel include Owen Egerton, Jeff Potter, and Amanda Eyre Ward. More information can be found here.

At the end of this month, she and Jo Whittemore will be included as two of the Top Ten Haute Young Authors on March 31, 2012 at the Southern Methodist University Table of Contents fundraising event. The formal event is sponsored by the Friends of the SMU Libraries. More information can be found here.

And lastly, Jo is pleased to announce that she's received Advance Reviewer Copies (ARCs) for her newest book D is for Drama, coming out in August from Aladdin M!X. Want a chance to win a copy?

Email Jo here with the title of your favorite musical!

Interested in an author visit? Please contact us! We have a few remaining spots open this spring and we're now booking for summer and next fall.

Nominate a Featured Sweetheart

Do you know someone who would make a great featured sweetheart for our blog? We're looking for librarians, teachers, authors, editors, anyone who has an impact on books, libraries, and/or getting kids to read.

If we choose the person you nominate, we'll give you a $5 Starbucks giftcard as a thank-you! Give us a holler today!