February. The Month of Love.


Or is it?

“Sometimes I think it’s when we have someone to lean on that we become unsteady. Lose our balance. Fall the hardest.” —Cate Reese, Before Goodbye

This Valentine’s Day read Cate and David’s story.

Enter the Goodreads giveaway for a chance to win a copy of Before Goodbye.

We promise, it has a hopeful ending.

“A book to set your heart aflutter.”

—The Toronto Star

“Desperate and real. Stunningly beautiful!”

—Night Owl Reviews Top Pick, 5 stars

“An important story… Highly recommended.”

—Manitoba Library Association

Cross-BeforeGoodbye-20232-CV-FT-v5 RITA Award Finalist medallion

Mimi Cross – Book Giveaway – Writer’s Journey

If you’re on your way to the SCBWI Conference in LA, you might want to pencil in this opportunity into your schedule. Mira Reisberg founder of The Children’s Book Academy is having a me…

Source: Mimi Cross – Book Giveaway – Writer’s Journey

Leave Me Alone

I want you to go away and leave me alone.

How can you not love a song that starts with a line like that?

I haven’t heard any new lounge music in a while so it was a pleasant surprise to find Leave Me Alone from Yan Terrien in the Sirenstories SoundCloud.

If you know anything about me and my other Sirenstories project, you know I’m a huge fan of young adult literature. I read a ton of it.  I love the constantly conflicting emotions, all the ‘touch me don’t touch me’ stuff that goes on, and the ‘I’m no good for you, we can’t see each other’ theme. The ‘I’m no good for you’ theme is especially fun, because while in the past it was, ‘I’m no good for you because I’m

a.) from another class

b.) a tortured artist

c.) an underdog of some sort

d.) going off to war

these days we have so much more to choose from! Today, it’s ‘I’m not good for you’ because I’m

a.) a Vampire, Werewolf, Angel, Fallen Angel, part Devil, or of course my personal favorite, a Siren

b.) from another planet

c.) the son of a man who is trying to destroy the world, or has already

d.) sitting on the opposite side of the cafeteria, i.e., I’m a jock and you’re a band geek, nerd, etc. and our friends hate each other.

My favorite song that does what Yan Terrien‘s song does is Missing you, by John Waite. Over and over Waite insists he’s not missing a certain someone, but meanwhile he writes one of the best kick ass love songs filled with yearning that you’ve ever heard and sings the hell out of. Yan Terrien‘s approach is a bit more laid back, but the idea is the same. On Leave Me Alone, Terrien mirrors Waite’s technique of repeating certain lines over and over. Terrien‘s spoken vocal is percussive and his French accent adds a measure of sophistication that makes lines like, “Get the hell out of my life” sound that much better.

Leave Me Alone made me think of just how many great songs and books and movies are devoted to the art of breaking up and making up. I’d love to know your favorite, it’s Valentine’s Day after all.

If you’ve read my blog before, you may know that if an artist doesn’t include a bio or lyrics or links when he uploads his song to the Sirenstories SoundCloud, I go snooping. It’s one of the reasons these posts can take such a long time for me to write, (which is my excuse for posting less than I promised) but it’s also fun.

To me, the most interesting piece of information I found about Yan Terrien, self-employed software developer, was this:

Software creation : Neengers, Laser Harp (for Jean Michel Jarre), PIGI for ETC (giant slide projectors).

Whoa. Laser Harp!?! For Jean Michel Jarre?! That’s so cool. Like Yan Terrien‘s music.

So there you go Valentines, I hope you have a kissy day.

More Music for Film and, Film.

Book trailers are a relatively new art form and the best ones take advantage of both video and audio.

In this trailer for Edie Meidav‘s new novel, Lola California, not only does the video tell a story, but the music does as well. I find both beautiful and haunting.

I also found Edie Meidav‘s articulate description of her book eerie and intriguing. After seeing this trailer, I have to read this book. Do you feel the same way? Is there a book you’ve been compelled to read because of the trailer?

Kevin Salem composed the music for the book trailer, and he wrote additional songs for Lola California as well. Kevin says, “What you find here is the result of three years of procrastination and a couple weeks of cramming which, really, is how music is supposed to be. The music is part soundtrack for the reader, part songs inspired by the text (though I would be loathe to be too ‘on the nose’ about it as Edie’s words speak so eloquently for themselves) and part music inspired by the cultural identity of the novel. That is, we hope that they work together not literally, but like distant cousins who bear a resemblance you can’t quite put your finger on.”

If you click on Kevin Salem‘s picture you’ll be able to hear more gorgeous music for Lola California and read about Kevin’s relationship with Edie Meidav and her novel.

Romance & Writing on #YAlitchat

Romance is definitely a HAWT topic for the #yalitchat tweeps!

Last night on twitter the tweets were flying about what we want to see as far as YA couples and relationships, what we like and don’t like, and how YA romance is different from adult romance.

During the course of the evening I quoted from Galway Kinnell’s The Still Time.

I remember those summer nights

when I was young and empty,

For me these lines express the yearning that YA literature is all about. I decided to put the entire poem up because it’s so gorgeous. Enjoy.

Below Galway Kinnell’s poem I posted the lyrics of a song that the MC of one of my YA manuscripts wrote after breaking up with the love of her life.

The lyrics deal with a different kind of emptiness—and I’m certainly not comparing my writing to Galway Kinnell’s!—but I do think sharp emotions are present in both the poem and the song. I think this kind of heightened emotion is what readers, both teens and adults, are looking for when they choose to read YA.

Do you agree? Why do you read YA? Please leave a comment to let me know. Thanks!

See you on twitter ;)

The Still Time

I know there is still time—

time for the hands

to open, for the bones of them

to be filled

by those failed harvests of want,

the bread imagined of the days of not having.


Now that the fear

has been rummaged down to its husk

and the wind blowing

the flesh away translates itself

and the flesh into flesh

streams in its reveries on the wind.


I remember those summer nights

when I was young and empty,

when I lay through the darkness

wanting, wanting,


I would have nothing of anything I wanted—

that total craving

that hollows the heart out irreversibly.


So it surprises me now to hear

the steps of my life following me—

so much of it gone

it returns, everything that drove me crazy

comes back, blessing the misery

of each step it took me into the world;

as though prayer had ended

and the changed

air between the palms goes free

to become the glitter

on common things that inexplicably shine.


And the old voices,

which once made broken-off, choked, parrot-incoherences,

speak again,

this time on the palatum cordis, all of them

saying there is time, still time,

for those who can groan

to sing,

for those who can sing to heal themselves.


I am empty

Like the streets at night

Like the movie house

When they turn up the lights


I am empty

Like this curtained bed

Like your promises

All those things you said



That filled my head

Until I got lost in love, I got confused

Between your lies and what I know is true . . .


I am empty

Ghost town in the dust

God’s a shadow here

Nothing I can trust


I am empty

The appetite we fed

Going hungry now

Starve those words you said



That filled my head

Until I got lost in love, I got confused

Between your lies and what I know is true . . .


I am empty

All the tears I bled

They don’t mean a thing

Like those things you said





I played the fool

I fell in love—and then I got confused, I don’t know what to do

I think I’d lose it all – if I lost you . . . I’d be empty . . . I’m empty now . . . I am empty.