Saturday, November 13, 2010

Author Interview: Wendy Mass

Remember when I interviewed Pseudonymous Bosch? I emailed another one of my favorite authors, Wendy Mass. Well she emailed me back quickly with answers to the question I'd asked her! I was really excited when she did. This is only my second author interview, so I'm still getting used to the excitement.
Wendy Mass
Book Diva: I know inspiration can come in many forms; a person, a place, a smell, a time or an era in life, what was your inspiration for being a writer?
Wendy Mass: -It really goes back to reading under the covers with a flashlight since I was eight. I just loved reading so much, and eventually I wanted to write my own stories. Now my four-year-old reads in the middle of the night with her flashlight and neither my husband (a high school English teacher) nor I can stand to ask her to stop reading and go to sleep. I’m a very proud mommy!

B. Diva: My mom is a writer, so I know sometimes the first book you write doesn’t make it to publication. What was the first novel you ever wrote and was it ever published?
W. Mass: --My first novel was called OPEN WINDOWS, about a Jewish girl who went to a Catholic middle school. It never got published, but I’ve pulled characters and scenes from it over the years for different books. I may use the title again one day for a future book, too. I’ve learned to keep all my past writing, because you never know when an old idea will spark a new one.

B. D.: In your books you have a variety of topics, how do you get your book ideas?
W. M.: I try to find subjects that I’m really interested in and then I hope that other people would be, too. In between books I try to keep my eyes open for something that sparks an idea, something that’s fresh and a little bit different. All it took to inspire the Candymakers was the opening of a new candy store in my town. Wandering through it one day made me think about setting a story in a candy store, and it morphed into a candy factory. A future book was inspired by a quote by astronomer Carl Sagan that a student at a school visit thought I would like.

B. D.: Sometimes when ideas for a novel come to you, you think that it’s a great idea! But then once you get into it you realize it’s not the best idea after all. Have you ever started to write a book then decided it wasn’t a good idea?
W. M.: Not really. By the time I’ve committed myself to the book it’s because I’ve already given it a lot of thought. I’ve done a lot of rewriting on some of them, and others require very little.

B. D.: Out of your published novels, which was the most fun to write?
W. M.: Leap Day and 11 Birthdays. Leap Day is for teens, and I don’t get to hear about it very much from readers, so whenever I do it makes me really happy. I loved writing that book and playing around with a sort of untraditional format for a novel. 11 Birthdays was fun because it was my first time sprinkling a little bit of fantasy into a book.

B. D.: Sometimes wherever a writer grew up is an important inspiration because you can place your characters in that setting that you know a lot about. Where did you grow up and have you ever used it in any of your novels?
W. M.: I grew up in a New Jersey suburb. I use some random details about the town, but mostly I try to set the books in imaginary towns, often more rural than the one I grew up in. It was fun setting Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life in New York City, since it was such a different experience than my own childhood.

B. D.: I was reading at a very young age and by the time I realized libraries had more things that I could consume, my love for books exploded. Were you interested in reading and/or writing when you were growing up?
W. M.: My mom likes to tell people I had read every book in the children’s room of my library by the time I was twelve. I’m sure that’s not true, especially because I’d get stuck reading the same book over and over. I’d finish the last page and then turn back to the first. If only I had that luxury today. My two childhood jobs were at the library shelving books (mostly hiding in the stacks and reading), and working at a bookstore at the mall (okay, mostly hiding and reading there, too.)

As for writing, I always loved writing stories. It look longer for me to enjoy doing research papers or reports for school. Now I know the secret is to pick a topic you’re interested in, and then it’s like going on a treasure hunt for ideas. I think that’s why I put so much factual stuff in my books, because research might even be more fun than writing.

B. D.: What was your favorite subject in school?
W. M.: -Science. My sister is a chemist and my brother-in-law and father-in-law are physicists, so I’m surrounded by really smart people who can explain things to me by speaking very slowly and using very small words! When learning a new topic (like astronomy for Every Soul a Star), I start my research in the children’s room at the library with the most basic picture book. So once I’ve learned how a solar eclipse works in the simplest terms possible, then I’ll move onto the next level.

Thank you Wendy for answering my questions! If you haven't yet, check out her books:
11 Birthday's
12 Finally
Every Soul A Star
The Candy Makers
and more! Check out all her books on Amazon.

Also: Don't miss out!
Book giveaway, Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, makes a great gift!
Click here!

If you have any questions, want to send me a book, want me to host a giveaway, want to be interviewed or have suggestions for books I should read, email me at:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Review: Dork Diares: Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl

By Rachel Renee Russell
Settled in at her new school and flanked by awesome friends Chloe and Zoey, life is looking up for Nikki Maxwell, especially since her crush, Brandon, asked her to be his lab partner—a seriously awesome development. However, when Nikki overhears mean girl Mackenzie bragging that Brandon’s taking her to the Halloween dance, a bummed Nikki signs on to spend Halloween at a kids’ party with her little sister, Brianna, instead. After she finds out Mackenzie was lying and her dream of going to the party with Brandon could be a reality, Nikki has two events to juggle . . . plus plenty of other entertaining trials and tribulations along the way!

This book was so fun to read. I read through it in less than 2 hours. I kept turning the pages and once I started, I couldn't stop!

Nikki's life was so fun to read about. She has to be a serious multi-tasker to get through the end of this book.

The characters were perfect. Her friends were loyal and nice. Sometimes a little too nice. Her crush has the best personality and understanding. And, in all books with a school, there must be a mean girl. The mean girl tries to ruin Nikki's life by taking her crush, her dreams, and her humiliation.

The writer really made you hear Nikki's thoughts. Written in first person.

Every party she had to go to turned into a disaster which will make a bunch of laughs erupt from any reader.

This is a great read for 10-12 year olds.

Ratings (1-5):
Characters: 5 stars
Plot: 5 stars
Ending: 5 stars
How Much Fun it Was to Read: 5 stars

Overall it was a good book.

Coming Soon...
Interview with Wendy Mass!

Review on This Book Is Not Good For You by Pseudonymous Bosch

If you have any questions, want to send me a book, want me to host a giveaway, want to be interviewed or have suggestions for books I should read, email me at:

Don't miss out!
Book giveaway, Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, makes a great gift!
Click here!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Book Giveaway: Charlotte's Web

Some Pig. 
These are the words in Charlotte's web, high in the barn. Her spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, as well as the feelings of a little girl named Fern ... who loves Wilbur, too. Their love has been shared by millions of readers.

I am holding my very first giveaway! I am giving away a slightly used copy of Charlotte's Web, by E.B. White.

If you are under the age of 13, ask for parents permission before entering. Comment on this post with your name, email address, and what your favorite book is. I have made comments under moderation, so your email will not be shown.

I can ship the book anywhere, so you can enter even if you don't live in the USA.
The deadline to enter is November 18th, 11:59 PM MTN Time Zone. I will randomly draw the winner on the 19th. I promise to have it on it's way the next day or a few days later. But I can't guarantee when it arrives.


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Please leave a comment for each thing you do, so I know how many entries you get.

Enter while you can!

If you would like me to host a giveaway for you, please contact me at

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Review: Every Soul A Star by Wendy Mass

By Wendy Mass

A novel about three very different teenagers finding their place in the universe
12-year-old ALLY likes the simple things in life—labyrinths, stargazing, and comet hunting. Her home, the Moon Shadow Campground, is a part of who she is. She refuses to imagine it any other way.

13-year-old BREE is popular, gorgeous (everybody says so), and a future homecoming queen for sure. Bree wears her beauty like a suit of armor. But what is she trying to hide?

13-year-old JACK, overweight and awkward, is used to spending a lot of time alone. But when opportunity knocks, he finds himself in situations he never would have imagined. 

I had a lot of fun reading this book. It taught me a lot about astronomy, and eclipse's. Now, I am not an astronomy person, but this, it felt so cool to read about an eclipse. 

Ally, has to be my favorite character, she is in love with the place that she lives, and what she does. She doesn't even have friends nearby, yet she loves nature and, well, astronomy.

Jack is a character who, doesn't believe he can do things, and doesn't fit in. He really didn't want to go see the eclipse. Until he gets there, he just thinks he'll hate it.

Bree is really funny. She is one of those pretty girls that every book has, but she's not mean. She is pretty nice actually. That's what I like about her. She is pretty, and nice.

Now some parts were much better than others, what I don't think seems right, is that there is a boy named, Ryan, I think it was, he was almost in the whole thing, yet he doesn't have his own perspective. I still liked him in it, just maybe a little less of him in it.

I think the cover is one of my main favorite things, it is pretty, it has big writing, it is attention grabbing.

This book is probably best for 3-6 graders. Because I don't think older kids would enjoy it as much. It's a little young for a 12 year old and old for a 7 year old. They definitely wouldn't understand some parts about astronomy.

Ratings (1-5):

Characters: 4 stars
Plot: 5 stars
Ending: 5 stars
How Much Fun it Was to Read: 5 stars

If you have any questions, want to send me a book, want me to host a giveaway, want to be interviewed or have suggestions for books I should read, email me at:

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Have you ever heard of NaNoWriMo?
NaNoWriMo stands for, National Novel Writing Month. Starting November 1st, you start to write a story and your goal is to reach 50,000 words in 30 days. Once you sign up for the kids site, or the adults site, you are ready to make a cover, write a summary and once it's November, start your story!

My story is about a girl with synesthesia. (What is synesthesia? Click here to find out!)
Here is my summary, and cover.

My LOUD Secret, a Summary:

I knew I was different the first day I stepped into kindergarten. I told my best friend Becky Wilson that she tasted like pineapples. She ran away from me screaming, "I DON'T LIKE PINEAPPLES!" From that day on, I knew I was going to be the weirdo. And I am. I am 12 and everyone here in middle school thinks I am weirder than the boy who picks his nose. (His voice is a brown blob) I don't know what's wrong with me, but I am determined to find out.

I hope you decide to join NaNoWriMo too!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Author Interview: Pseudonymous Bosch

The other day, I was thinking to myself, "Wouldn't it be cool if you could interview some of your favorite authors?" So on the off chance some of my favorite authors might actually be around to interview, I emailed some!

To my surprise and delight, Pseudonymous Bosch, the author of The Secret Series responded! He is one of my favorite authors (I have to include my mom Eisley Jacobs in my favorite list, Sorry Bosch) of all times! I really appreciate the time he took to answer my questions! Enjoy the interview.

Book Diva: I know inspiration can come in many forms; a person, a place, a smell, a time or an era in life, what was your inspiration for writing, The Secret Series?
Pseudonymous Bosch: Hm, if I tell you the secret story behind THE SECRET SERIES can we keep it between us and the thousands of readers of this blog...? Good. The secret story is that I wrote the first book in the series when I was in grade school--well, when I was a volunteer in a grade school. I was part of a program called Writing Partners wherein fourth- and fifth-grade students became pen-pals with adults outside their school for the purpose of exchanging creative writing through the mail. My writing partner, May, sent me poems, stories, and a cartoon strip she’d drawn about a chocolate bar that was afraid of being eaten. I didn't have anything to send so I decided I would write her a novel-- but I couldn't think of a title I liked, no matter how hard I tried. Well, maybe that's because the name of this book is secret, I thought. Then I asked myself what the book should be about. The answer was obvious...a secret!

B.Diva: My favorite book of yours so far is This Book Is Not Good For You. Have you had a love for chocolate all your life?
P. Bosch: Yes, although when I was little I preferred my chocolate hot and milky, now I like it cold and dark.

B.Diva:I think your use of code names was fabulous! When you name your characters, do you pick names from the people around you or do they just pop into your head as you write?
P. Bosch:Usually, they just pop into my head--and if the reason they pop into my head is that they're also the names of people around me, well, I'm not telling! Of course, some like Pseudonymous Bosch and Max-Ernest (or in the new book Paul-Clay) might possibly be puns on the names of certain well-known artists. Others, like Cassandra, refer to mythology.

B.Diva: I've always loved reading and that won’t stop now. What are your favorite books?
P. Bosch:If you know how much I like chocolate, you won't be surprised to hear that CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY has always been a big favorite, as have all of Roald Dahl's books. HUCKLEBERRY FINN is another favorite of mine although I confess when I was younger I liked TOM SAWYER much better. Between the ages of eight and fourteen I read almost a book a day--and my favorite book changed almost daily as well. One day it was HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES, the next day it was A WRINKLE IN TIME...

B.Diva: Each of the books in your series are about the senses: smell, hear, taste, sight, and touch. What made you want to make this series about senses?
P. Bosch:It evolved in part from my interest in synesthesia--the confusion of the senses--a theme which enters into the first book by way of a mysterious box of scented vials, The Symphony of Smells.

B.Diva: Out of The Secret Series books, which was the most fun to write?
P. Bosch:The first. (See above.) Writing a book through the mail is something I recommend every writer try once.

B.Diva: Do you have another project in mind after the final book in The Secret Series comes out?
P. Bosch:Yes... Cough cough...Silence....

B. Diva: Maybe you can't share where the heroes, Cass and Max-Ernest grew up; but where did you grow up?
P. Bosch:Well, I will tell you this much: the nuclear test site I grew up next to had no effect whatsoever on my brain development and is not the reason I write the way I do. Although, come to think of it, that would explain a lot...

B. Diva:Your characters obviously have code-names but why do you go by an assumed name?
P. Bosch:I'm deathly afraid of the villains in my books, the Midnight Sun, tracking me down. Also--again this is just between you and me and the thousands of readers of this blog--the Writing Partners program in which the series originated was supposed to beanonymous--i.e. my writing partner wasn't supposed to know my real name. Hence, I became Pseudonymous...

B. Diva:What made you decide to become a writer? And at what age did you realize this is what you wanted?
P. Bosch:I wouldn't call it a decision. More like a congenital illness. Actually, when I was younger I wanted to be a magician. Unfortunately, I can't hold a coin in my hand without dropping it...

Since it's obvious he wants to keep his cover. Please DON'T check out his books on these websites.

Thank you Pseudonymous for taking the time to answer these questions.

Coming Soon...
Interview with Author: Wendy Mass

Book Reviews on: A Mango Shaped Space,  This Book Is Not Good For You and Every Soul A Star

If you have any questions, want to send me a book, want me to host a giveaway, want to be interviewed or have suggestions for books I should read, email me at:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Review: If You're Reading This It's Too Late by Pseudonymous Bosch

By Pseudonymous Bosch

Summary (From the inside flap this time):

Dangerous secrets lie between the pages of this book.

OK, I warned you. But if you think I'll give anything away, or tell you that this is the sequel to my first literary endeavor, 
The Name of This Book is Secret, you're wrong.

I'm not going to remind you of how we last left our heroes, Cass and Max-Ernest, as they awaited intiation into the mysterious Terces Society, or the ongoing fight against the evil Dr. L and Ms. Mauvais. I certainly won't be telling you about how the kids stumble upon the Museum of Magic, where they finally meet the amazing Pietro!

Oh, blast! I've done it again. Well, at least I didn't tell you about the missing Sound Prism, the nefarious Lord Pharaoh, or the mysterious creature born in a bottle over 500 years ago, the key to the biggest secret of all.

I really can't help myself, now can I? Let's face it---if you're reading this, it's too late.

This book wasn't as good as the rest. I really love The Secret Series but this one just didn't appeal to me as much as the other 3 did. (Reviews coming)

This book is mainly about alchemy, I am sorry, but alchemy does NOT appeal to me at all. I have to admit, I did like reading it, it just wasn't as amazing.

The villains of this story are trying to find a way to create life. AKA a homonculus. Too bad it's not possible in real life. I am a Christian and so this book doesn't catch my eye very well.

Cass is different in this one, I like her in this one way better then the first. I don't know why. She is somehow smarter in my eyes and more caring. Max-Ernest is sort of stubborn in this one, but I can't tell you why. I think I've said enough! Well almost.

Now the setting in this story, I really liked. Just the way the author described it made it seem so real and beautiful. Need I say more?

Ratings (1-5):

Characters: 4 stars
Plot: 3 stars
Ending: 4 stars
How Much Fun it Was to Read: 4 stars

Coming Soon (NOT in this order)...
Interview with Pseudonymous Bosch!
Interview with Wendy Mass!
Review on Every Soul A Star
Review on This Book Is Not Good For You

If you have any questions, want to send me a book, want me to host a giveaway, want to be interviewed or have suggestions for books I should read, email me at: