by Stephanie J. Blake
With the countdown to Christmas looming, there's also another important countdown in my life. My debut novel, The Marble Queen, is (finally) set to launch December 18, 2012. I'd like to thank three wonderful ladies who've come into my life. Each of them blurbed my book, and I'm forever grateful.
Lisa Graff, author of Double Dog Dare and other hilarious books. She said this about my book: "The Marble Queen is enchanting from beginning to end. Whether she’s force-feeding her little brother worms, or showing the boys a thing or two about shooting marbles, Freedom Jane McKenzie is feisty, funny, fearless, and entirely irresistible. A dazzling debut." Lisa was the first reader many years ago. She gave me some invaluable revision advice and I've never forgotten it.
Nan Marino, author of Neil Armstrong is My Uncle and Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me. I'm a huge fan of Nan's book--in awe of the perfectness of the story, actually. She was so generous in her blurb. "Rich with historical details, The Marble Queen will pull you back to 1959 but Freedom Jane McKenzie is a protagonist for all time. Whether she’s knee deep in family struggles or proving to the world she has what it takes to play marbles with the boys, Freedom’s voice rings out with determination, humor and warmth."
And Barbara O'Connor, author of many lovely books, including her recent one, On the Road to Mr. Mineo's. Her witty Facebook posts and awesome writing tips have brightened many of my days. I want to be Barbara when I grow up. She said, "I didn't want The Marble Queen to end. I wanted to stay with Freedom and her oh-so-real family forever. I wanted to keep watching her play marbles with the boys. And I wanted just one more visit with the kind but eccentric next door neighbor. Blake has combined the fascinating world of childhood marble-playing with the ups and downs of perfectly realistic characters. A winner!"