Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Giveaway alert: Win a signed ARC of MAYDAY by Karen Harrington

Hello, friends,

I'm excited to share this giveaway of my forthcoming novel, MAYDAY, which will be out May 24 from Little, Brown.

The novel has earned two starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly! And one of my favorite reviewer comments came from VOYA, which said "Thought provoking and touching, Mayday applies to anyone who has ever felt like an outcast and wishes to become someone with a sense of pride."

Love that!



    Goodreads Book Giveaway


        Mayday by Karen Harrington




          by Karen Harrington


            Giveaway ends May 13, 2016.
            See the giveaway details
            at Goodreads.

    Enter Giveaway

Monday, March 14, 2016

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - HOUR OF THE BEES by Lindsay Eagar

 Hello Friends, I haven't done a middle-grade post in a long while, but I was inspired to today. HOUR OF THE BEES by Lindsay Eagar is a remarkable, lyrical debut. It's one of those stories that transcends age. I tried to select a passage to quote from, but just can't. There are too many, particularly the sections that are a story within a story, told from the point of view of the main character's aging grandfather. So wonderful!

Read a little bit of the "Inside Scoop" direct from the author on this Kidliterati Post.

Publisher's Description:  Things are only impossible if you stop to think about them. . . .

While her friends are spending their summers having pool parties and sleepovers, twelve-year-old Carolina — Carol — is spending hers in the middle of the New Mexico desert, helping her parents move the grandfather she’s never met into a home for people with dementia. At first, Carol avoids prickly Grandpa Serge. But as the summer wears on and the heat bears down, Carol finds herself drawn to him, fascinated by the crazy stories he tells her about a healing tree, a green-glass lake, and the bees that will bring back the rain and end a hundred years of drought. As the thin line between magic and reality starts to blur, Carol must decide for herself what is possible — and what it means to be true to her roots. Readers who dream that there’s something more out there will be enchanted by this captivating novel of family, renewal, and discovering the wonder of the world.

Happy Reading!


Friday, February 19, 2016

RIP Harper Lee

Dear Friends,

The news of Miss Lee's death today saddens me. She gave us so much. I picture her in heaven with Gregory Peck and her beloved sister, now. What conversations they might have! I'm thankful for her words, which will be read for generations upon generations.

Farewell, Boo. We loved you so.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Fun news

Hello, friends,

My forthcoming book, MAYDAY, just got a nice review in PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY!  Feeling blessed and can't wait to share more with you about this new story.


Harrington (Sure Signs of Crazy) again focuses on the young survivor of a horrific situation, crafting a compelling exploration of life after a disaster. The death of Wayne Kovok’s uncle, a soldier fighting overseas, feels like enough tragedy for the 12-year-old (previously seen in Courage for Beginners), but after he and his divorced mother survive a plane crash returning from the funeral, new challenges join his grief: the temporary loss of his voice and left eyebrow, replaced by facial bruises, stitches, and a large scar, as well as coping with his dictatorial grandfather, now living with Wayne and his mother. A self-described nerd, Wayne is obsessed with sharing random facts; his voicelessness forces him to rethink his identity and his relationships. Harrington deftly depicts the delicate dance of family and friends trying to handle the aftermath of near tragedy, their efforts further complicated once Wayne uncovers an important secret his grandfather is keeping. Wayne is an appealing protagonist with a strong voice who develops believably over the difficult months, as do the other characters. A well-done book on all levels. Ages 8–12. Agent: Julia Kenny, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. (May)

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy 2016!

Hello friends,

First, I want to wish you a wonderful new year!

Now that it's 2016, I can FINALLY say that I have a book out "this year." The process seems to take so long. Waiting to share a story can be simultaneously joyful and frustrating. But now it's only a few short months away! This is a story about seventh-grade plane crash survivor Wayne Kovok who embarks on a quest to recover two things lost in the crash: his voice, and the American flag honoring the death of his soldier uncle, while trying to find his place between his absentee father and his super-patriotic military grandfather.



Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Most Anticipated Books of 2016

I was so excited to see my next book, MAYDAY, appear on this list of Most Anticipated Books of 2016. via GIPHY

Then I read through the whole list and found SO MANY other books to add to my own reading list so I thought it was well worth sharing with you!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Writing With Music

A question I get asked a lot is: Do you make a music playlist when creating a new novel?

The answer is yes! The playlist usually evolves during the second or third draft, which is the period when I really begin to see what the story is all about. For Mayday, the playlist was very inspirational. The story has a deep, patriotic thread running through it. Music that conjured love of country and dedication of servicemen and women was a big part of my process.

So on this Veterans Day, as we remember the service and bravery provided by our military, I thought I'd share one of my favorite songs from my Mayday playlist. I hope you like it. It's called The Soldier and The Oak and it's by Eliot Park.

Monday, November 2, 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015 Kick-off

I had the privilege of attending a National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) kick-off event yesterday, along with Kay Honeyman, author of THE FIRE HORSE GIRL. We chatted with aspiring writers about how each of us had tackled the month-long writing challenge. It was a fun, encouraging way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon.

I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo three times. One of my NaNo novels has since been published. I worked on polishing and revising that draft for about a year and half. It would ultimately grow into my first middle-grade novel, SURE SIGNS OF CRAZY. I'm not formally participating this year, but I will be using this month as a motivator to finish writing the first draft of my work-in-progress.
So what advice can I offer to this year’s NaNo participants? 
Well, the main thing is to use this time to really experiment. Try to turn off your inner editor and use the blank page to over describe every single thing in your story world. That is actually a fun exercise. For my first NaNo effort, I gave all my characters four names. And yes, each time they appeared, I typed out that extra-long name. I described trees and nature and used all the senses much more than I normally would have. You also have permission to write notes to yourself in between paragraphs. Something like, “I will come back to this part later and write a better transition because I don’t know how they will get to Idaho, just that they will.” Don’t be afraid to write scenes out of order. If you are really pumped up about the story’s ending, go ahead and write that down. If you get stuck, you can also write journal entries from your characters. This is a great way to learn their voice and their manners and opinions. To achieve word count, it’s a good idea to write 500 words, take a break and come back two hours later to write another 500 words. When all else fails, introduce bad weather into your story. All people – fictional or actual - get up and get moving when dangerous weather threatens. And finally, watch the film FINDING FORRESTER at some point during the month. Once you watch it, you’ll know why it’s great for NaNo writers.
Good luck!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: NEVER BROKEN by Jewel

Hey, friends,

Long time, no blog from me. Today I thought I'd hop back into the bloggy world because I just finished reading one of my favorite books of the year. NEVER BROKEN by Jewel.

"I should probably not be here today. I should probably not even be alive. Being alive, I should have become an addict, knocked up as a teenager, or stuck romantically in a cycle of abuse." - NEVER BROKEN, p. 3

This was such a compelling read. It's a memoir, but there's a lot of interesting encouragements that read as a sort of self-help book/advice your best friend might give you. I really enjoyed getting to know Jewel's history and her stories about growing up in hard-scrabble Alaska. After her dad used her favorite frilly pink scarf as a filter for the faucet (bugs and worms would come through the pipes), she writes about how she learned that no possession of hers was precious.

She writes with a lot of humanity about her parents' lack of parenting and comes full circle to where they are now in life with a full understanding of forgiveness and letting go. She writes about her writing process and also how she always got recharged by the natural world.

I really loved this memoir. Jewel passes the grit test in my book. We need more song-writers with grit. In fact, after reading about her life and re-listening to many of my fave songs of hers, I can no longer really listen to some, but not all, Taylor Swift tunes. I guess I like my lyrics with weight and resonance. I don't want everything all smoothed out for my listening enjoyment. Give me a little sandpaperey sound and poetry that comes from life knocking you around and living to tell the tale. Just my preference.