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Hey there. Hey. It’s been a little while. How have you been? Has your underwear melted into your skin from this amazing heat wave we’re in the throes of? It’s been awesome, hasn’t it? Not really. But kind of, who doesn’t love a toasty summer? Other than penguins. I did a smart thing last week, on my day off – I went up to Six Flags with a friend. On the hottest day of the year, when it was supposed to be like 103 degrees. I told this plan to my parents last weekend, and they just kind of stared at me in stunned amazement, hoping that they’d raised a child smarter than this, and then reminded me that my skin is one shade away from being translucent and will probably just ignite like a marshmallow over a fire pit. Even as I said, “But there’s a water park, and I’ll reapply sunscreen all day” I had a nervous feeling, and I pictured that white marshmallow blackening around the edges and then sliding off the stick in a gooey mess of carnage, and I was afraid.

I did not want this to be me.

But! It was actually pretty fun. All the sane people stayed home, so the park wasn’t super crowded. My friend and I ran amuck riding all the roller coasters we wanted with pretty much zero waiting time. Every so often, I could feel the heat attempting to bake my skin into a pie crust, and when it made me paranoid, I went back to our locker and slapped on more sunscreen. Then we would soak in the wave pool and I swear I could hear my skin sizzling. I left totally burn free, so – Mel: 1. Sun: 0. And, AND! I bought a Batman cape. I know!! There were so many capes there, guys, I can’t wait to go back and get a Superman cape, and a Flash cape, so I can have a cape for all occasions, like napping and writing. My coworker dared me to wear it to work the next day, which is silly, because of COURSE I would do that. And I did, and it made me feel like a superhero.

How is this book related? It’s totally not. I just wanted to share my bad choices that somehow worked in my favor. But I have bookish sort of things going on!

Here’s a super cool bit o’ news: a few weeks ago, Tommy Stubblefield, who works at Better World Books, approached me to ask if I would be interested in doing a guest blog post for the Better World Books Blog. Umm, heck yeah I would! So I did, and it is here: Heroes With Tails. Check it out! I wrote about my favorite furry heroes and book series involving memorable critters from my childhood up until now, like the Redwall series, Watership Down, the Bunnicula series, Wind in the Willows, etc. I still plan on doing the Great Redwall Reread of the summer, which may be less summer and more early fall, but I want to read them all in order and revisit those swashbuckling mice, crafty squirrels, unintelligible moles, and fierce badgers (badgers, in general, seem to kick a lot of ass no matter who’s writing them).

Second bit o’ breaking news (why am I doing that? I don’t know. It looks cool. And that’s how I’m saying it in my head. Like a British chap): Also a wee bit ago (okay, maybe Scottish now?), a blog that reviews YA novels, appropriately called I Love YA Fiction, put out a request for a guest blogger for the summer, to do two reviews a month. I applied, naturally, because I love their blog and the ladies that run it are hilarious, and it would help me make a dent in my YA TBR pile and expose me to more YA I would have otherwise never heard of.

…and they picked me! So! I will be a guest blogger at I Love YA Fiction for a few months, posting two reviews a month. I’m so, so excited you guys, and so grateful to Judith and Ellen for giving me the chance to do this. My first review goes up this Thursday, about the novel Hourglass, by Myra McEntire. So hop on over to their blog and read it on Thursday, heck just read it period because their reviews are thorough and usually very funny, now go go go!!!

Wait, not yet, I’m not done. Hold your horses. I mean, I don’t have anything uber important to say at the moment – I feel a rant coming on for a proposal I read a few days ago that will need its own blog post, and I have a review of my own to get up at some point – I … I guess I could end it here and get back to actual work. I have some cover letters to do, a manuscript to take a look see at, and the edits of one of my own chapters to go over. That one is a bear. I can’t get it to exude the atmosphere coauthor and I are striving for, which normally is not a hard thing for me. Nothing’s coming out right, and it’s making me feel small and defective, and I don’t know what to do about it. Other than listen to Joshua Hyslop and remind myself that I don’t always suck at this. When an entire chapter is sticking in my craw, I get intimidated and throw my laptop dirty looks until I eventually put on my big girl pants and plow through it. I’m still searching for my big girl pants.

All right, kids. Keep an eye out for my guest reviews, and stop in and say hey, cause I get lonely. On a final note, what is everyone reading? I just finished Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card (awesome, awesome book. I can’t believe I’ve only just now read it), and I’m almost halfway through Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson. Which is give me the hiccups funny and I’m enjoying the hell out of it. Oh, and have a great 4th – not just those from the US, but everyone, just enjoy the day, even if you don’t have it off work. Like me. Heh.

Okay, now you can go.