A truly stunning coming of age fantasy tale – Staff of Fire and Bone is an epic account of friendship filled with imaginative characters and creatures. Azul’s amazing gift for description immerses us immediately in an intricately woven story where the corruption of power has bred sinister plots leading to prejudice and promises of exploitation. As Cedron’s story beautifully unfolds, we ache with his pain and hopelessness as he struggles to discover who he truly is and what is expected of him. In the face of overwhelming loss and uncertainty, Cedron must find a way to heal the land and restore the balance of power, even if it means sacrificing everything. From sinister demons and terrifying creatures to sacred stones and obelisk imps, Staff of Fire and Bone sweeps us away on an ever-shifting journey, reminding us of the importance of looking beyond someone’s race to appreciate the beauty, diversity, and power deep in all of us.
Here’s what we talked about in my classes at school today. But it's not just for kids - it's something for everyone to think about. Making a New Year’s resolution is fantastic, but make sure to set yourself up for success.
Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet? And, probably more importantly, do you have a plan to achieve them? We make resolutions all the time, but most of the time we just call them GOALS! You can always know a good goal by how SMART it is. Is your goal Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely? If a goal is SMART, you have a better chance of sticking with it and then achieving it!
Whether they are personal or professional, take some time to check on your resolutions (goals) and make sure they are smart. It always feels great to look back at the end of the year and celebrate the goals you’ve achieved!
For me, as I looked back at 2017, I realized that I hadn’t read near as much as I had the previous year. This led me to one of my New Year’s resolutions for 2018.
New Year’s Resolution: I want to read more.
SMART Goal: Read 2 books each month of 2018
· Specific – a book (not a magazine or news article)
· Measurable – two books per month
· Achievable – set aside 30 minutes each day
· Realistic – 210 minutes per week = 840 minutes per month = 14 hours per month (I can definitely finish two books in 14 hours!)
· Timely – two books must be completed by the last day of each month, 24 books completed by December 31, 2018
Although I've heard many authors setting much higher numbers in regards to what they want to read this year, I feel like this goal is a smart goal for me. With teaching full time, editing Greener (book two in the Green series), writing another book, Back to Green (the third book in the Green series), helping my husband with our restaurant, being a wife and mother, and saving a little time to enjoy myself, I feel confident that I will achieve this New Year's resolution. And, we all know that the more you share a goal, the more you focus on it - so I will post on my blog a review of each of the books that I read this year!
Happy New Year!
For me that is. Maybe not for you. Probably not for you. Well, at least you’re an explorer, because you’re here, on my page, looking for something …exciting? Different? Fun? New?
I hope that you’ll find it here. What you’re looking for. That we can start a relationship. Something you’ll look forward to. Something I can be a part of.
Hi, by the way. I’m Heather. I’m a writer. Actually, I’m more of a story teller. Really I’d much rather talk to you than write to you, but that’s just not possible. So I’ll see what I can do here. To cultivate our connection.
Growing up, I had a super active imagination. Every book I read, every tale I heard, every TV show I watched, contributed another piece to the ever-changing story that played constantly in my head. As soon as I was old enough to step away from my parents, I was looking for a new adventure. I loved to perform, to sing, to dance, to capture an audience. And most of all, I loved stories.
I could be the listener or the teller, an active participant or a silent sponge, it didn’t matter. Words were magic, enchanting and mesmerizing. Words were power, transfixing and captivating. Words were freedom, exhilarating and liberating.
Even as a child, I loved to spin a tale. To weave the characters and facts and places and emotions throughout an intricate web that became my own little world. For a while, I was pretty sure that my mom was actually a secret circus performer at night (why else was it so important for my brother and sister and me to all be in bed and asleep by 8:30?) and that when my dad left “for work” during the day he fought giant monsters from other planets (he was super strong and could run on tall, metal stilts, and when he got home he was always filthy, covered in thick, white “mud,” or was it really alien blood?).
Most days, my brother and I would hike up the “mountain” behind our house, and build forts, holding off pirates, or Indians, or thieves. We hurdled quick sand (okay, cow pies), chased bandits (baby calves), ran for our lives from the cops (mama cows), and threw rocks at rattlesnakes (no, really, this one is true – it was northern Idaho). My brother was the best side kick ever because he always let me tell the story, let me narrate our adventure as it happened. Wild-eyed, mussed-up hair, dirty, and exhausted, we’d come back home when it started to get dark.
And I grew older, I began to understand the influence of being well-spoken. I could read a crowd, imagining what they would like, what would hold their attention, how they would react. I would draw from my imagination, from my thousands of stories, to make people laugh, to cry, to get angry, …to act. I realized that people can share a powerful, single vision guided by a beautifully told story.
As an adult, I’ve learned to appreciate the power of writing. It’s much harder than speaking. Creating that same strength of voice on paper that whips up a frenzy in a crowd. Or the softness of a gentle whisper shared with someone you love. Or that good laughter that makes you double over and hold your stomach because you just can’t stop. Or the tears that come when pain seeps in and overwhelms you. Authors that can make you feel emotions so forcefully that you feel like you’re not in control – anger, hatred, pity, sorrow, jealousy, fear …or entrance you in a special moment – a shared smile, a tender touch, a soft kiss – those are the incredible story tellers who change our lives.
That’s my hope. My desire. My dream. My goal. To become one of the story tellers who doesn’t have to say a word to speak to you. To influence you. To give you something beautiful that becomes a piece in the ever-changing story in your head.
I'm so excited to be sharing GOING GREEN with the world -
it's available online and in bookstores on March 21st!
GOING GREEN is a story set in the future when chloroplasts have been genetically modified and are used to enhance humans. It’s a book about choices and consequences, about true happiness and real fear, about racism and appreciation of differences, and about extreme opposing political views. Action. Drama. Humor. Love. Check out the Books page to read more about GOING GREEN!