Dumplin’

Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’ had been on my to-read list for a while. I finally decided to read it when it was placed on the nominee list for next year’s South Carolina Young Adult Book Award. I finished the book a couple of days ago, and I found it to be extremely relatable, especially if you’re a big girl living in the South (or anywhere, really). I, for one, saw some of my own high school experiences reflected in the life of one Willowdean “Dumplin'” Dickson. Maybe you will too.

Willowdean Dickson is a fat girl. She knows it; she owns it. What does it really matter anyway? She’s relatively happy. She’s got a wonderful best friend, Ellen, who’s as close as a sister and shares her love of Dolly Parton. She’s got a decent job at a local fast food joint where she gets to ogle Bo, a guy who, oddly enough, seems to like her as much as she likes him. Everything’s just peachy, right?

Well, not really.

Soon, Will’s insecurities about her size start to interfere with her life, much like they did for her beloved Aunt Lucy, who recently passed away. Will is increasingly frustrated with Ellen, who doesn’t really get what it’s like to live in a large body. Will feels Ellen drawing away from her and toward Callie, a girl who makes her disdain for Will pretty obvious. Will also doesn’t quite trust Bo’s feelings for her. She freezes when he gets too familiar with her body, and she doesn’t understand why a guy like him would want to be with a big girl. On top of all this, her mother, who Will doesn’t really connect with, is gearing up for her long-time obsession, the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant.

The Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant is everything to many of the girls in Will’s town. Will’s mother was a former pageant winner, and she never lets anyone forget it. When going through her aunt’s old papers one day, Will discovers that Lucy, who always struggled with her weight, also wanted to enter the pageant, but she never took that risk. Will, in the blink of an eye, decides to step out on that ledge and do what her aunt wouldn’t. She enters the pageant…and her world turns upside down.

Suddenly, a bunch of other girls–girls who wouldn’t normally enter a beauty pageant–are following in Will’s lead. Will doesn’t want to start a whole movement or anything, but that may not be up to her anymore. Ellen has also entered the pageant, and that puts a strain on her relationship with Will, especially considering that Ellen actually has a shot of winning.

Will’s mom doesn’t think her daughter is taking the pageant seriously, and that adds a whole other level of drama to what is quickly becoming more chaos than Will can handle. And when she’s already dealing with boy issues, Will is wondering if she’s bitten off more than she can chew.

There’s only one question Will needs to answer at this point: What would Dolly do?

As Will begins to more fully embrace who she is, she comes to value the new friends she’s made during this pageant madness, but she also looks to repair the damaged relationships in her life. Those between her and her mom, Ellen, and Bo. She’s not going to let anything–including her own issues and insecurities–come between her and what she wants anymore.


I’ve spent my entire life as the fat best friend, so I 100% related to much of what Will experienced in Dumplin’. I still have major anxiety about eating in front of other people, showing any part of my body, and a bunch of other issues that I won’t get into here. It was not at all difficult for me to place myself in the main character’s shoes (or in her late aunt’s, for that matter). I’ve had fights with friends (mostly thin girls) who simply didn’t understand that my experiences were different from theirs. They didn’t worry about getting made fun of every time they walked down the hall, got up in front of a class, or stepped out of their comfort zone. So, yeah, I get Willowdean.

Having said all that, I will say that some of her experiences were beyond me. I am not now nor have I ever been a pageant girl. I’ve never understood the appeal. (Apologies to my friends and family members who are all about this stuff.) I’ve also never had to worry about attracting the attention of a “hot guy,” unless it was negative attention, mostly bullying.

While I do relate to Will in this book, I also think parts of it, especially the ending, are a little too neat. Everything kind of wraps up in a nice, neat little bow, and that’s just not how things work in the real world. I also think that Will could have done a bit more self-reflection, examining her somewhat hypocritical views on the girls around her, particularly those also competing in the pageant.

Even with a couple of things that gave me pause, I do think Dumplin’ is a great book. There’s none of that “fat girl only becomes happy when she loses weight” nonsense, which is a major plus. I look forward to seeing more of Willowdean and company in future books. (There’s supposed to be a sequel to Dumplin’ sometime next year.)

Given that there’s some salty language and pretty frank talk of sexy times, I do think Dumplin’ is suited to a teen/high school audience. I probably wouldn’t place it in a middle school library.

To learn more about Dumplin’ and Julie Murphy, visit the author’s website. You can also connect with her on Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and YouTube.

Finally, if you like Dumplin’, you might want to read Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg.

Daylighters

Danger, danger! Turn back now if you haven’t read the first fourteen (yes, fourteen!) books in Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires series. They’ve all led up to the fifteenth and final book in the series, Daylighters, and you absolutely must read every single book before you dive into the finale.  If you’re wondering what the first fourteen books are, here you go:

If you’re not already immersed in this fantastic series, now’s a great time to get into it. You don’t have to wait for anymore books! For now, though, I’m going to reflect a bit on the final book in the series, so be off with you if you’re not caught up!

It’s been a wild ride. A few years ago, my friend Jennifer introduced me to the Morganville Vampires series, and, after reading the first book, I was hooked. (I didn’t know at the time that I would be in for a fifteen book commitment, but that’s okay. I love reading books in a series, and, honestly, it wouldn’t upset me now if there were more books to come. There aren’t, by the way.)

During this journey through Morganville, I’ve lamented that the main characters never have anything good happen to them for long. That doesn’t really change in Daylighters (nor would I expect it to). In this final installment, Claire and company are fighting what may be their most dangerous foe yet.

The Daylight Foundation and their charismatic leader Fallon are ridding Morganville of vampires. Sounds like it would be a good thing, right? Well, things aren’t as rosy as Fallon would have everyone believe…and Claire knows it. She and her friends see firsthand just what Fallon is doing to keep the vampires corralled, and they know things are bound to get much worse. (They’re right, as usual.) “Worse” comes in the form of Michael and Eve being split up, Shane becoming some sort of weird hellhound, Claire being arrested, and their beloved Glass House being threatened with demolition. Sunshine and roses, yes?

Things may actually be sunshine and roses for many of the humans in Morganville, but there is a definite undercurrent of menace in this new order. And when Claire’s vampire allies–Myrnin, Amelie, and Oliver–find sufficient strength and will to fight back against this new threat, all bets are off.

War is coming to Morganville, and, loathe as she is to admit it–even to herself–Claire wonders which side she should really be on. Should she side with the Daylighters, who are bringing a peaceful existence to many of the humans who lived in fear for so long, or should she stay with the vampires who founded this town?

There really is no choice for Claire and her friends. Even though many of the vampires are truly terrifying, many more have shown loyalty to the humans in their charge. How could Claire possibly abandon Michael, Myrnin, Amelie, and even Oliver (who is grumpy on a good day)?

Claire, Shane, Eve, Michael, and company will use every tool and ally at their disposal to bring the Daylighters down…but will it be enough? Can vampires and humans work together to bring down a fanatical zealot and convince his followers that a peaceful coexistence is possible?

No matter what the outcome, one thing is certain. A new day is dawning in Morganville. Will it be a day full of light and possibilities or a day soaked in the blood of war? I’ll leave that for you to discover…

_______________

This finale, like the other books in the series, was quite the roller-coaster ride. There were times when I wondered how on earth my favorite characters could possibly get out of their predicaments. I was anxious throughout the bulk of the book, and I longed for a happy-ish ending, especially since I hadn’t got one in fourteen other books! I’m thrilled to say that, to a certain extent, I got what I wanted. The ending was rather satisfying, and I closed the book with a contented sigh.

After fifteen books, I am sad to say goodbye to Morganville and the characters I’ve come to know and love. I’ll especially miss Myrnin, the mad scientist vampire. Every time I put on my killer bunny slippers (with sharp, pointy teeth!), I think of him. Yes, Claire, Shane, Michael, and Eve drove the stories along, but, for me, Myrnin was one of the main reasons I kept coming back for more.  (That probably says more about me that I’m comfortable revealing.)

If you’d like to learn more about The Morganville Vampires or author Rachel Caine, take the time to visit one of these sites. If you go to the young adult page on the author’s website and click on YA short fiction, you’ll find a selection of short stories that explore Morganville and its residents just a bit more. (These may also be on the official Morganville Vampires site.)

Goodbye, Morganville. It’s been an adventure.

Bitter Blood

If you’re a frequent visitor to this blog, you’ve seen this warning before, but PLEASE stop right now if you haven’t read the entire Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine.  Bitter Blood is the thirteenth book in the series (yes, you read that right), and I’m not even going to try to keep this post spoiler free.

If you’re still reading at this point and would like to start at the beginning of the Morganville Vampires series, here are all thirteen books (so far) in order:

So, I’m now officially on my winter break, and I can finally devote some time to Knight Reader (which has been sadly neglected since school started in August).  After the past few months, I really need this escape.  This afternoon, in celebration of my two-week vacation, I finally finished reading Bitter Blood, book #13 in Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires series.  It should go without saying that, after thirteen books, I’ve grown rather attached to the characters in this book.  So attached, in fact, that it took me over two weeks to finish this book because I didn’t want to face the bad stuff–even by Morganville standards–that was happening to Claire, Shane, Michael, Eve, and Myrnin (my personal favorite character).  Bitter Blood is a tense, action-packed book, much like its predecessors, but even I was unprepared for exactly how things would play out in this installment.

After defeating the terrifying draug–creatures even vampires feared–Morganville should be returning to normal, right?  (“Normal” here means an uneasy peace between vampires and the town’s human residents.)  Well, as is often the case, nothing is going according to plan in this strange town.  It seems that once vampires no longer have anything to fear, there’s not much to hold them back…especially when their very nature demands they prey on humans.  The Founder of Morganville, Amelie, seems to have made a complete about-face and now, along with her closest advisor and consort Oliver, views her town’s human residents as nothing more than a food source…even those like Claire and friends who helped to defeat vampires’ greatest enemy.

Claire, her boyfriend Shane, and newly married Michael (vampire) and Eve (human) know they have to do something to stop the massacre that is sure to come, but it soon becomes clear that they are targets on both sides.  Vampires are less than thrilled (to put it mildly) that one of their own has married a human.  Humans are equally disgusted by the relationship.  They’re not too fond of Claire either, since they see her as a loyal friend and ally to the blood-suckers.  How can these four friends–and their new ghostly housemate Miranda–battle two sides in a war that may not be winnable?  And what will Claire do when her boss and closest vampire friend, Myrnin, decides that it’s all too much and seems to disappear into thin air?

As if Morganville’s current troubles weren’t enough, a crew from a ghost-hunting reality show has arrived in town, and they’re stirring up more trouble than they ever prepared for.  Also, the mysterious Captain Obvious is back and is apparently more determined than ever to drive the vamps out of Morganville for good…by whatever means necessary.  While all of this is happening, it seems that Amelie is turning a blind eye to all of the trouble.  But what if Amelie isn’t the one calling the shots anymore?  What if she’s being manipulated along with everyone else?  Who would have so much power that they could control Morganville’s Founder?  And what could a few humans, a young vampire, a semi-sane (yet totally awesome) older vampire, and a ghost possibly do to turn the situation around?  What sacrifices–unintended or not–will be made to save their town?  Answers will be revealed in Bitter Blood, but they may not be the ones you ever expected…or wanted.

It would be an understatement to say that I enjoy this series.  I was hooked from the first book, and my obsession has only grown with each book.  With Bitter Blood, despite the ominous title and past experience, I kind of hoped for good things to happen to my favorite characters, and, in the end, not everything was bad.  But this book sent me on an emotional roller-coaster, and I’m still trying to recover.  There were moments of absolute anguish that nearly had me curled up in the fetal position.  And I don’t anticipate things getting much better with the next two books…

Book #14, Fall of Night, is due for a May 7th, 2013, release, and it follows Claire immediately after the events of Bitter Blood.  (You’ll realize the importance of this when you finish book #13).  Book #15, Daylighters, which is rumored to be the last book in the series, will be out next November.  I’m hoping for a bit of closure by this time next year, but, if Rachel Caine is true to form where Morganville is concerned, she’ll totally break my heart in the process.  I better start preparing myself now…

Belly Up

One of my favorite vacations ever was in one of the most popular attractions in the world…the San Diego Zoo.  I visited my cousin in Southern California a few years ago, and the zoo was, by far, the one thing I wanted to see the most while I was there.  I knew it would be crowded, I knew it would be hot, and I knew I would walk so much that my legs would feel like noodles.  It was totally worth it.  I loved the place.  I think animals, especially animals I don’t get to see all that often, are fascinating, and I loved every minute of my day at the zoo. 

I’m telling you all of this to introduce my latest read, Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs, a nominee for the 2012-2013 South Carolina Children’s Book Award.  Belly Up takes place at a zoo/theme park called FunJungle in central Texas (and it’s not terribly different from the San Diego Zoo).  Now, at first glance, this theme park is the ultimate vacation destination.  Really cool animals, Disney-esque merchandising, and loads of family fun.  But something isn’t quite right at this attraction, and our main character is about to find himself in his own kind of zoo…one that could endanger his very life.

Teddy Fitzroy, a kid who spent his first ten years in the Congo, basically lives at FunJungle…which isn’t nearly as fun as it sounds.  His mom works with the primates there, and his dad is a wildlife photographer.  While they’re busy with their jobs, Teddy spends his days wandering around the park…and getting up to a little trouble (like arming chimpanzees with water balloons).

When Henry the Hippo–FunJungle’s star attraction, mascot, and all-around bad-tempered animal–ends up “belly up,” Teddy is immediately suspicious.  He smells something rotten…and it’s more than a dead hippo.  Teddy begins investigating the death on his own, and he quickly discovers that more is going on at FunJungle that he ever realized.  With the help of the zoo owner’s daughter, Summer, Teddy learns that lots of people wanted Henry dead, and whoever killed Henry may now have a new target…Teddy. 

Teddy’s been asking lots of questions, and he may be getting too close to the truth for comfort, so someone is doing everything they can to shut him up.  Teddy is scared, but he’s also determined to uncover the truth about what happened to Henry the Hippo…and several other animals that have died under mysterious circumstances.  He doesn’t know who he can trust, but he does know that it’s up to him to uncover the truth before anyone else–animal or human–is harmed.  Can Teddy discover who’s behind the mayhem at FunJungle, or will he be the next one to go “belly up?”  Read Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs to solve the mystery!

Belly Up is a fun, quick read for any reader who enjoys mysteries or stories involving animals.  While reading, I learned a lot of interesting facts about zoo animals that I’d never known before, and I think my students will find these facts as fascinating as I did.  I think it would be awesome to combine this book with the ever-present animal research projects that my fourth grade students do each year.  Many animals are mentioned in this book–some I’d never heard of–so it would be really cool to have students research each animal that was mentioned.  It would make the book come even more alive for young readers.

The mystery in Belly Up kept me guessing the entire way through.  Just like Teddy, I didn’t know which characters could be trusted, and the outcome of the book was a complete surprise to me.  The ending of the book, in particular, was filled with twists and turns that most readers will not see coming.  I love it when that happens.  Predictable stories tend to be boring and lose my interest fast.  That didn’t happen with Belly Up.

I’ll be recommending this book to all of my third-fifth grade students, and I think this book would be a great addition to middle school libraries as well.  If you’d like more information about this book and others by Stuart Gibbs, visit http://stuartgibbs.com/.

Black Dawn

Spoiler alert!  This post is about the book #12 in Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires series, Black Dawn.  I know it’s asking a lot, but please read the first eleven books before proceeding.  Thanks a bunch!

So, it’s been a long week, and I haven’t been able to read nearly as much as I wanted to.  It didn’t help that some genius decided that she should schedule a third book fair three weeks before school gets out for the summer.  (For those that don’t remember elementary school all that well, book fairs are a BIG DEAL.  They’re also a ton of work.)  Anyway, I haven’t had a lot of time to read this week, but I did manage to finish one highly-anticipated book:  Black Dawn by Rachel Caine.  If you paid any attention to the warning above, you know that this is the twelfth book in the Morganville Vampires series, and Claire and crew are once again fighting for their lives…

The draug (water vampires, or at least something similar) have invaded Morganville.  Vampires and humans alike are disappearing, and Amelie, the Founder, has been infected.  After being rescued from the draug, Michael went all vampire-in-a-frenzy, and he fed off the love of his life—and a human—Eve.  Things are bad for everyone in Morganville, but those remaining are determined to fight the invaders that have all but taken over the town.  But are they prepared to pay the price of the battle to come?  Lives will be changed and even lost, and Claire, Shane, Michael, and Eve must decide if they’re willing to risk everything—even each other—to rid Morganville of the horror that is spreading.

The human and vampire residents of Morganville must work together and use some rather unconventional methods to destroy the draug.  Things don’t go well for everyone, and plans are being made to make things even worse for some—especially Claire.  She is the only person who can see Magnus, the master draug, so Oliver (the town’s second-in-command) and Myrnin (Claire’s mad-vampire-scientist boss and my personal favorite character) decide to use her as bait.  Unfortunately, they don’t exactly let her—or anyone else—in on the plan.

Will Claire and company be able to defeat the draug while remaining together?  Will this fight tear them apart?  And what will they do when the town they’ve worked so hard to save becomes even more dangerous than ever before.  They may be working to eliminate one enemy, but more may be stepping up to the plate, even those they once counted as friends.  Who is a friend?  Who is a foe?  It’s hard to tell in a town like Morganville…

So, yeah, I had high hopes that things would get a little better for Claire, Shane, Michael, Eve, and Myrnin in this book.  (They’ve had a rough time of it in the past eleven books.)  Well, it’s not looking good.  This book may have resolved one bit of drama, but several more are waiting to take center stage.  (Yes, I know I’ve used both baseball and theater metaphors in this post.  Just call me well-rounded.)  I did enjoy Black Dawn.  Like the other books in this series, it was full of action, humor, and a dash of steamy romance.  It’s also filled with angst, tension, and heartbreak.  It’s a bit like a vampire soap opera (but not a cheesy one like Dark Shadows). 

And like any good soap opera, the drama just keeps on coming.  The thirteenth book in this series, Bitter Blood, will be out on November 6th this year.  For more information on the upcoming book or others in this addictive series, visit http://www.morganvilletexas.com/The_Morganville_Vampires_series_by_Rachel_Caine/Banner.html.  You can also follow the author on Twitter @rachelcaine.  For those who are still paying attention to this rambling post, check out the official book trailer for Black Dawn:

Finally, if you’re still reading this and haven’t read the entire Morganville Vampires series, you might want to check out these posts on the series.  (Yes, they are in order.)

Happy reading!

Last Breath

If you haven’t read the first ten books (yes, ten) in Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires series, turn back now!  Last Breath is the eleventh book in this addictive series, and, in my opinion, you need to read the first ten books to fully appreciate what’s going on in this one.

If you’re still reading this, I’m going to assume you’ve read the entire Morganville Vampires series thus far. By now, you’ve probably grown attached to Claire, Shane, Eve, Michael, and, in my case, Myrnin, and you’ve probably guessed (with the help of the title and the cover) that things in Morganville aren’t getting any better. In fact, they’re about to get much, much worse…

Our story begins with the planning of a wedding.  This, however, is not your typical joyous occasion.  See, the wedding is between Eve, a human, and Michael, a vampire, and it seems that most humans and vamps are finally in agreement.  This wedding should not happen.  Eve and Michael, rebels as always, are determined to go through with the wedding, and they enlist Claire and Shane to help them.  The wedding, though, will soon take a back seat to a new terror gripping Morganville.

Vampires are disappearing from the town.  Only a few, including Amelie (the Founder), Oliver (her second in command), and Myrnin (Claire’s certifiably-insane-but-lovable boss) know why, and they are terrified.  Now, it takes a lot to terrify centuries-old vampires, but the evil headed their way has these three shaken to the core.  What could make three of the most powerful vampires in the world ready to close up shop in Morganville, and what does this mean for the human inhabitants of the town?  (Nothing good, I assure you.)

Claire has a bad feeling about what’s happening in Morganville, and she’s certain it has something to do with the mysterious, nondescript guy she keeps seeing around town.  She knows he’s at the root of what’s going on, but there’s a big problem.  She’s the only person who can see him.  And when he realizes it, Claire becomes a target for an evil that even vampires fear.

Will vampires and humans be able to unite to face the horror that is ripping their town to shreds?  Or will this finally be the end of Morganville and all who reside there?  Read Last Breath, the eleventh installment in Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires series, to unravel the mystery!

Let me just say that I think I need some intense therapy after reading Last Breath.  I laughed, I cried (sobbed is probably more accurate), I used some not-nice words, and I’m still a little tense about how this story unfolded.  When I was a little over halfway through the book, I was ready to send an email to the author simply asking her, “Why?”  After eleven books, I am very invested in what happens to these characters, and I’ll go ahead and tell you that, at several points, I felt like the author had ripped my heart out.  (That’s the mark of an excellent series, in my book.)  I’m recuperating now, but I’m still anxious about where the next (and final?) book in this series will take the characters I’ve come to love.

Book twelve in this series, Black Dawn, is due to be released on May 1st of this year.  The cover is below.

For more fun in Morganville, visit http://www.morganvilletexas.com/Morganville_Texas/Home.html.

And for those of you who haven’t entered the world of the Morganville Vampires and continued with this post (despite my warning), here’s the list of books in this series (in order).  Read at your own risk.  These books will suck you in!

Bite Club

Caution!!!  If you haven’t read the first nine books in Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires series, you may want to move on to another post…or, you know, actually take the time to read nine entire novels before continuing with this post.  I’ll leave it up to you.

As you may have gathered, I just finished reading the tenth book in Rachel Caine’s wonderful Morganville Vampires series.  The book is Bite Club, and the title is perfectly suited to this book.  It’s like fight club…but with vampires and stuff.  Just imagine Ultimate Fighter with fangs and superhuman strength.  I know it sounds kind of cool, but it’s really not.  It’s just another sign that things in Morganville, as usual, are not normal and are on their way to being extremely perilous for anyone with a pulse…and some of those without one.

Claire Danvers thinks her life might finally be getting back to normal.  Well, normal for Morganville anyway.  She’s got a super-great boyfriend, Shane.  She lives with a great group of people who always have her back.  She’s protected by the town founder, Amelie.  And, oddly enough, she enjoys her work with the mad scientist vampire Myrnin (still my favorite character in this series).  What could possibly happen to break up this lovely little world?  Funny you should ask.

After Claire stumbles upon a classmate who has clearly been killed by a vampire, she suspects that something bad is about to happen in Morganville (again).  See, her classmate may or may not have been trying to blackmail some pretty powerful vamps.  (Not a smart idea, by the way.)  But what was he blackmailing them with?  Can Claire find out before someone else gets killed?

Claire’s investigations lead her to a new gym that has opened in Morganville.  The gym is operated by some weird vampires that are training humans to fight their blood-drinking brethren.  Worst of all?  Shane, Claire’s boyfriend, is one of the trainees.  Since he started going to the gym, Shane has changed dramatically.  He’s always angry and itching for a fight, and the lights in his eyes seem to have dimmed.  What caused this alarming change?  Why is Shane seemingly pushing Claire away when she knows he needs her now more than ever?  Who could be behind this “bite club?”  What is his (or her) agenda?  Can Claire figure out what’s going on and stop the madness before the entire town of Morganville is destroyed?  Find out when you read Bite Club, the tenth book in the Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine.

Like the nine books that preceded it, I thought Bite Club was awesome.  I really liked how we got a glimpse into Shane’s head during this book.  It was cool to see what he was thinking and how he dealt with the intense feelings that sort of erupted from the darkest parts of his soul.  I also enjoyed how Claire grew into such a strong, kick-butt female.  I always thought she was stronger than anyone gave her credit for, but she really stepped it up a notch in this book.

I do, however, have one complaint about Bite Club.  It didn’t have nearly enough Myrnin.  I need more of this mad scientist who wears bunny slippers that have sharp, pointy teeth.  (I have a pair of slippers just like his.)  I know he can by creepy and scary sometimes, but no one can doubt Myrnin’s awesomeness.  Please, Rachel Caine, if you happen to stumble upon this post, give me more Myrnin!

To sum up:  I loved Bite Club (especially the bits with Myrnin), and you should read it (but only after you’ve read the other nine books in this series).  You’ve got plenty of time to read the entire series before the eleventh book, Last Breath, comes out on November 11th.  Get to it!

For more information about Bite Club, author Rachel Caine, and the entire Morganville Vampires series, visit http://www.rachelcaine.com/Rachel_Caine_-_Writer/Home.html.  Enjoy!