Underwater Dragons on a Bookshelf Near You

Hi everyone!

All right, my mom is threatening to come hijack my blog if I don’t post about this, so HELLO!  Here I am!  And guess what?  Wings of Fire Book Two: The Lost Heir is AVAILABLE NOW!!!

Buy it there or here or here or at your local bookstore!  My own copies arrived recently and it is SO BEAUTIFUL.  You guys have no idea how much I’ve always wanted to have “special effects” on my books — sparkly titles and embossing and extra things to make the covers pretty — and these books exceed my wildest expectations.  They’re so shiny and magical in person.  Thank you, Scholastic!  I love love love it.

And I hope you guys love it, too!  This is Tsunami’s story — what happens when the dragonets reach the Kingdom of the Sea and she meets her family at last.  There’s a big mystery to solve (let’s just say I debated calling this book The Princess Murders) and a thoughtful boy dragon with a secret, and we meet the second dangerous contender for the SandWing throne.  Oooo, I wish I could say more, but I don’t want to give anything away!

I hope you all had wonderful holidays!  I got an AMAZING present from my sister and brother-in-law — they printed and framed the art from my dragon covers (and the map!) so I could hang them on the wall above my desk:

(I’d include my desk in this photo, except that it is AN OUTRAGEOUS MESS, which I’m sure I’ll get around to tidying/organizing one day, perhaps when book five is done…or when the kids go off to college…)  😉

So now that’s what I’m looking at while I’m writing (say, for instance, books four and five!).

Extremely motivational and inspirational!  🙂  Thank you, Kari and Steve!  🙂  🙂  🙂

Jonah also got an incredibly magical wondrous Christmas gift — from us, but Kari & Steve pointed me to it — which we both love so much I can’t resist telling you about it:

Symphony in B

We’ve loved other toys by this company, too, but this is the TOY OF MY DREAMS.  I’ve been wanting a toy like this since we first discovered Jonah’s (hilarious, wonderful) musical instrument obsession — he can list musical instruments the way other kids list dinosaurs or construction machines, and according to him he’d like to learn to play all of them, please.  (“I’m going to learn the piano!  And the violin!  And the tuba!  And the sitar!  And the harpsichord!  And the clarinet!  And the steel drum!  And the harmonica!  And the castanets!” etc…seriously, I’m pretty sure he can rattle off at least 35 different instruments off the top of his head.)

So the idea with this toy is there’s an “orchestra pit” and thirteen tiny instruments, and you get to switch out the instruments to create your own orchestra while the songs are playing — so, if you’d like to hear “Twinkle Twinkle” with just a tuba and a koto, you can, or if you’d like to pile in all the woodwinds for Brahms’ Lullaby, you can do that, too.  The music is really beautiful instead of rip-off-your-ears annoying (like the noises of most children’s toys!) and even I just want to play with this all day long.

Hooray for magical toys!  🙂

I also got oodles of books that I can’t wait to read; I’m sure you’ll be hearing about some of them in my Favorite Books of 2013!  And my mom bought me FANCY new dance shoes for the ballroom dance classes Adam and I are currently taking.  These are, like, the first heels I’ve worn since getting pregnant with Jonah, and they’re really pretty and make me feel like Ginger Rogers — but boy, I do not understand the whole concept of “breaking in” shoes.  Why can’t everything be comfortable right when you first put it on?  Says the girl who’s been wearing the same sneakers since high school.  HMMMM.

And we got lovely snow (thank you, universe!) 🙂 so we could take Jonah sledding, which went much better at age almost-three than it did at age one, when he was fairly woebegone about the whole thing.  I do think reading The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats helped prepare him — and also A Perfect Day, by Carin Berger, which is beautiful and sort of a shiny new version of the same idea.

All right, I’m off to watch Downton Abbey (er, I mean, to write book four!  yes!  indeed!) . . . Happy New Year, everyone!  I’m not sure I can muster resolutions this year — maybe to pay attention to my new books coming out (The Menagerie in March!  Wings of Fire Book Three in June!  mark your calendars!) and to pay even more attention to my adorable munchkins (the baby has started crawling!  clear the decks!  man the barricades!  we’re doomed!).  🙂

Quote of the Day:  “At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done — then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago.” — Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden