New York Times Bestseller
else like it.”
Hugo, Nebula, and World
Fantasy Award Winner
Dear Mother Nature: That was one wicked lightning storm last night while I was driving the lone highways of Utah. I’m a huge fan of your work, and I think you’ve outdone yourself. It was so brilliant and otherworldly, I half-wondered if the alien invasion was coming. My normally static-ridden hair was straight on end. Bravo for a spectacular performance!
Dear Man in Bookstore: No, I wasn’t admiring you. I was admiring the newly packaged leather-bound copies of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The fact that you weren’t admiring the books I was admiring, in spite of the fact that you stood right next to them, means you really aren’t my type and I’ll never be admiring you. Sorry. I hope we can still be friends . . . in the I’ll-never-see-you-again-thank-goodness sort of way.
Dear James Dashner: Thank you for writing such a fun book. I truly enjoyed Scorch Trials and cannot wait for Death Cure. Your book kept me company while I drove the lone highways of Utah and watched Mother Nature do her thing. Your book and I had a great time together. Also thanks for the phone call. I”m glad you’re my friend.
Dear Family: Thanks for not putting me up for adoption when I get weird. You guys keep me grounded.
Dear friends: Thanks for all the comments, private emails, and words of encouragement. I promise not to stop writing even though I did consider it for a few minutes. I appreciate all your support. You guys are like a lifetime supply of flashlights with batteries.
Dear Manuscript in Progress: Sorry for the trim yesterday, but you look much tidier now. Those forty pages made you look a shaggy guy wandering around with no sense of purpose. It’s true when they say, “this hurts me more than it hurts you.” so stop whining.
Dear House: No you aren’t going to be clean this week. You’d think you’d be used to it by now. Honestly, House, you whine as much as Manuscript in Progress.
Dear Me: Why are you on the Internet when you have Manuscript in Progress to get ready?
I have been asked this question a LOT over the last several months. I’ve received more fan mail for Romania Brown’s quotes in the book CROSS MY HEART than I have for the actual book.
People have Googled her, quoted her, and laughed out loud at her. And they want to know who she is. So I’m telling all. I will meta-tag this post so it comes up in a Google search. I want the world to know.
She’s my grandma.
Her full name is Julia Romania Brown Peterson. She is the person who I was named for. She was my very best friend growing up. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears mentioning again–she was everything awesome in my life. I miss her sometimes more than I can stand. I hide bits and pieces of her in pretty much everything I write. It’s my way of keeping her with me. It takes away some of the ache, and I know she’d love the joke of it all. Grandma loved a good joke.
Now, the confession part is that Grandma didn’t write all those quotes. A couple of them are things she told me, but most of them are things I made up. I couldn’t credit myself because . . . well, it looks tacky to credit a quote to yourself. I tried using quotes from real people, but had to rely on things my friends would let me quote them in a book saying, or things that are over a hundred (or whatever) years old so I didn’t accidentally break any copyright laws. After using up my friends and classic works, I still needed a few quotes. It was then that I turned to my journal–my memories of grandma and my snarky personal commentary on love in general while I was in my dating years. I drew from that to come up with the quotes and the poem about love at the beginning of the book CROSS MY HEART.
So now you know.
Julia Romania Brown Peterson was hilarious. She loved to laugh. She was brilliant. Even without formal higher education, she never ceased to learn, to expand her mind, to grow her knowledge. She loved archaeology, which might be the reason I had such a fixation with Indiana Jones and that blasted hat of his. She planted all the seeds that created the person I am today.
And I do miss her . . . every day. But every day, I am also filled with gratitude that she existed, and she was *my* grandma. I am grateful that she was such a huge part of my life, and glad to share her with all of you even in this small part.
So now you know. Isn’t she wonderful?
Because it’s pie and it’s a book, and Josi Kilpack is awesome.
Now that I’m done writing a book (and putting off editing that book) I am in read-and-review other books mode. It won’t be long before I have to get back to the grind, so go ahead and be shocked that I’m posting more than once a month and know that the once a month schedule could pop up again at any moment.
The only thing more awesome than me loving a book, is one of my kids loving a book. I’ve read Key Lime Pie twice now (once before and once after publication) My daughter decided she liked mystery books about a year and a half ago. She finished Key Lime Pie about a week ago. Now I want it stated for the record that it totally ticks me off that my daughter reads and loves the books my friends write, but would rather drink anti-freeze than read one of my books. Kids . . . pssshhhh!
Because my daughter is going to school in a different city, we spend a LOT of time on the phone (because even if she won’t read my books, she still likes to chat with me on the phone). Some of our conversations went like this:
Rae: I am so dang mad at Josi. She’s making everything go wrong in this book! Why didn’t you stop her before it got published?
Me: Just keep reading, honey. You’ll like the ending.
Rae: No, I won’t! Everyone I like is either a bad guy or written off at this point.
Me (smiling): I promise. Just keep reading.
Rae: Well of course I’m going to keep reading. I have to know what happens.
The conversation after she finished the book went like this:
Rae: Well I’m done! (you can hear in her voice, she is grinning)
Rae: It was awesome! Tell Josi I forgive her for driving me crazy. It ended exactly like it should have.
And so it did. Josi has done it once again, and it makes me happy to see my daughter get so emotionally invested in the story. Sadie Hoffmiller and her insatiable curiosity lands her in the middle of another mystery, one that means life or death, and hunger or starvation. Sadie finds herself in Florida–trying to help a friend, but also trying to discover what really happened to his daughter. What she finds is a web of lies, cover-ups, and of course–food.
The plot is great, the setting delicious, and the characters are as fun as ever as Josi ramps up the series with a romantic twist I never saw coming.
I loved it!
Real or not real? This book was awesome.
I finally had the chance to read this. It was my reward for finishing my latest work in progress, and was a well chosen reward. Finished this at 3:30 am. It was a satisfying read all the way around. The conclusion worked for me and no everything wasn’t perfect, but it was *right*
My quibbles were with the whole capital infiltration. It was all for naught because Katniss arrived at the same time as the rebels. She could’ve just gone with them and saved that loss of life. If the failure had been for some greater learning or revelation, it wouldn’t have bothered me, but it seemed to be just a waste of time for everyone.
I’ll be honest; when Katniss voted to do another round of hunger games for the capital’s children, I hated her. I hated her with every ounce of my being. You have to forgive me for not seeing through the subterfuge. It was 3 in the morning and I was tired! When the arrow knocked a new hole in Coin, I figured it out and got over it. When Coin said she’d flip Katniss for the chance to kill Snow, it very much felt like the hunger games vote was the coin toss. If Katniss hadn’t sided with Coin (no pun intended) on that one, she might not have been given the chance to be aiming arrows and keeping the entire mess from hitting repeat.
I loved the ending. The ultimate ending. It had to be Peeta. Always. Gale was the hot headed guy who wanted revolution and war. Katniss just wanted to live her life with the people she loved.
When I heard there was a team Gale, I laughed. Seriously people? Team Gale? Peeta is the boy with bread. He is the life she wants. Enough said. I loved that Peeta had a reawakening on his feelings for Katniss. He finally saw Katniss for who she was and then wanted her still in the end. Once she’d been kicked off the pedestal–he was around to pick her back up, brush her off, and say, “I still choose you, even though you suck, and make me furious, and are sometimes incredibly selfish. I still want you, because of the million things you do that don’t suck, that aren’t selfish, that don’t make me furious.”
That’s true love, baby–realizing its imperfections and wanting it anyway.
So for me the book was great. It was good to climb into bed at that hour and put my cold toes on my husband’s warm feet and be grateful for the things in my life–to be grateful for my own version of Peeta lying next to me–the man who knows all my demons, and sees all the flaws, yet says, “I still choose you.”
All in all I was/am satisfied with the book. Though I know it is wrong to covet the talents of other authors. I am insane with jealousy over the beautiful prose of this book. Maybe when I’m all grown up, I too can write like THAT.
Five stars. Thank you Suzanne Collins.