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Showing posts from 2015

Ruby's Gift: A Christmas Story

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by Carrie Anne Noble Some people called Ruby a bad dog, and it was kind of true. The summer I turned eleven, my brothers, sister, and I found Ruby on our porch. She was sitting there like a fluffy, black-and-white, tail-wagging package left by the UPS man. A really smelly package. On the spot, five-year-old Janie named the dog Rubella Polio (words she’d learned from pamphlets in the pediatrician’s waiting room, being too advanced a reader for Highlights magazine). When I suggested we call the dog Ruby for short, the big fur ball jumped up and gave me a slobbery kiss. “You’re welcome,” I said, wiping the doggy drool off my cheek with the hem of my t-shirt. Ben and Doug, my three-year-old twin brothers, let the dog into the house before Mama could object. Not that Mama would have. Mama didn’t do much objecting back then. She didn’t do much other than stare silently at the kitchen wall. If Daddy had come back from the Afghanistan war instead of going to heaven, things wou

Just a quick note

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This is fun! Popsugar lists The Mermaid's Sister among its 200 best books of 2015 for women. I'm ignoring the fact that they seem to have forgotten O'Neill is a guy. :) There are lots of good books on the list & a few I'm adding to my personal TBR pile. Check it out here: http://www.popsugar.com/love/photo-gallery/37249070/image/37249200/Mermaid-Sister http://www.popsugar.com/love/Best-Books-Women-2015-37249070#photo-37249200

Book Signings Ahead!

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The Mermaid's Sister, Bookstore Visits, & a Star Whale Hi!   Below, you'll find a press release for a book signing I'll be doing in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania at Barnes & Noble at Bucknell University . I thought I'd post it here because it contains a little bit about the book ( The Mermaid's Sister )and the author (me!)--in case you don't know us.   If you're in central PA, please come & meet me at Webster's Bookstore & CafĂ© on November 6, 2015, during State College's First Friday events. I attended Penn State there, so I'm very excited to be revisiting its hometown.   Check out my events page for more info on signings & appearances, including links to the stores' websites. I h ope to meet you soon! Lewisburg Bookstore to Hold Signing for Award Winning Author LEWISBURG, PA- On Friday, October 2, Barnes and Noble at Bucknell University (400 Market St.) will host a book signing event with Carrie Anne Nobl

A Novel Break Up

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  Dear Leprechaun Novel,   We've been through a lot together over the last three years. We've spent two nutso, Nanowrimo Novembers holed up in my office, shared many delicious chocolate bars and countless cups of tea, explored (imaginary) Ireland hand in hand, defeated the evil Tooth Fairy and violent Garden Gnomes, and fallen in love.   Well, dear never-ending-work-in-progress, I'm not in love with you anymore.   The feeling has been creeping up on me for months now, the feeling something was wrong in our relationship (in spite of all my desperate work-- four drafts, maybe five!).   The knowledge that spending time with you is no longer a joy fell down on me like a wet woolen blanket. Ugh.   My friends say it's time to put you aside. To start over with another story. Something that will make me giddy about writing again. I know they're right, but I hate breaking up with you. It makes me sad. It feels like defeat, and little like grief. The th

Here a book, there a book...

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Book Festivals Near & Far Here are a few photos of the sweet, small town book festival I attended yesterday (August 29, 2015). It was held in a pretty little wooded park near the river in Watsontown, PA. About 15 authors attended-- a few of them dear friends whom it was such a delight to see! Next stop: The Beaver County Book Fest in Beaver, PA on Sept. 12.  Fifty authors in a circus tent,  and some more outside the big top, as well as food stands & crafts. What could possibly be more fun than fifty authors in a circus tent, I ask you!!! I'll post pictures after the grand event! More info here: http://beavercountybookfest.com/    First time out for my fancy banner   Pilsner stands guard between images of O'Neill & Clara     Two handsome fellows took over while I was busy chatting with my neighbors (the fabulous writers

June 2015 Adventures

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I attended back to back writers' events in June: UtopYA Con in Nashville followed by the St. Davids Writers' Conference in Grove City, PA. Two very different experiences! UtopYA was a convention for Young Adult speculative fiction fans & writers, and it was a swirling extravaganza of hundreds of people, shiny books, panel discussions, swag giveaways, and signings. To top it all off, I finally met my editor in person. About 60 people attended St. Davids, spending four days on a peaceful, beautiful, rainy college campus, taking classes, making friends & connections, & eating way too many desserts. Here is photographic documentation!   One of the UtopYA exhibition halls. The lovely Rysa Walker shared her table with me & 3 other Skyscape suthors.     A few of the authors of Skyscape Publishing:  Jacqueline Garlick, Theresa Kay, Alys Arden, Rysa Walker, & me!   Selfie with Mr. Pew of Grove City College. He's kind of sh

The 4:45 Bird

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I live in the country. There are birds.   Don't get me wrong. I love birds. They're amazing little creatures. However, every morning at 4:45, a single bird starts singing outside my window.   4:45 a.m .   The sun hasn't even begun to come up. It's still dark. I'm trying to sleep, for goodness sake!   But he sings. After a while, another bird answers him. As dawn sneaks up, more birds join the birdy choir. By the time the sky is well lit, tweets and whistles fill the air.   This morning (shortly after Bird 1 began tweeting), I thought about What It Means. This one bird's song. So here are my deep thoughts (these are rare occurrences, so pay attention!).   Bird 1 sings alone. He sits in a dark tree and no one is listening to his song. He sings anyway. He makes music because he likes to, because it's what he was meant to do . If he had to sing alone all day, he would.   But then the other birds hear him. They open their beaks and

"Sticky" Books

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Any avid reader knows there are books and then there are books. There are books you read and then forget, and there are certain books that stick with you for the rest of your life.   When I was about 14, I read Mervyn Peake's novel Titus Groan for the first time. Reading has always been my favorite sport, and I began making up stories at an early age...but this encounter with Peake changed me. His rich, somber fantasy was a world unto itself. His characters and settings were odd and fascinating and wonderful--and presented with such skill that although I've not read the Gormenghast trilogy for years, I can still remember Peake's people and places with clarity.     Reading Peake made me write in a new way. His novels and poetry unlocked a deep love of language in me, a love for the shapes and sounds of words. This love flowed out of my pen and filled my notebooks with brooding teenage poetry (stuff you will never read and that I ought to bu

10 More Fun Facts About The Mermaid's Sister

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Yet more Mermaidy Trivia...   I collected the name "Scarff" from the side of an appliance company van while on a trip to Virginia. I guess there are real people named Scarff in the world. And they travel about fixing washing machines. I wonder if they ever find orphans under apple trees or tucked inside seashells. Pilsner was almost named "Pilcrow," but it seemed kind of wrong to name a raven something with the word "crow" in it. The Red Hedgehog Tavern was named after the tavern Johannes Brahms liked to frequent in Vienna (Zum Roten Igel). For more on the bits of Brahms in the book, see the other 10 Fun Facts list on this blog. http://www.carrienoble.com/2015/02/10-fun-facts-about-mermaids-sister.html Clara Schumann The figure in the upper left corner of the book cover is Dr. Phipps, not Scarff, as some have assumed. Originally, Auntie was supposed to have a stubby-winged pet bat in addition to Osbert the wyvern. I'

An Unforgettable Evening

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  Book Launch Party for The Mermaid's Sister Thanks to everyone who attended & helped with the party at the James V. Brown Library on March 6! It was a great success. I think we really shocked the sweet librarian who helped to plan the event by having 135 guests show up!      Advertising in the elevator. I found it exciting!   The happy author herself      Book signing table   What beautiful books! Refreshments table inspired by Scarff & O'Neill's caravan of exotic wares                     Osbert tote bag--a door prize  College room mates reunited!       Author &  the husband who puts up with her       Special thanks to Cindy Knier & John Noble for taking most of these photos. 

10 Fun Facts about The Mermaid's Sister

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Stuff you'll probably never be asked about on Jeopardy... Hi! In a spirit of fun (and as a way of procrastinating working on my next novel), I offer you 10 random facts about The Mermaid's Sister --things that even Alex Trebek doesn't know!   Bushy-bearded Brahms, or Ezra Scarff  O'Neill was named after my friend's neighbor's dog. Brahms' German Requiem was a major part of my writing playlist. Which leads us to number 3... O'Neill's looks were modeled after young Johannes Brahms and... Scarff's appearance was inspired by older, bushy-bearded Brahms. In an early draft, Pilsner the raven helped Soraya Phipps capture Clara, O'Neill, & Maren. Maren's name means "of the sea." Clara's middle name is Amelia, which was my great grandmother's middle name. The tune O'Neill hums to Clara in Chapter 29 is Brahms' Waltz in A-Flat Major. (Again with the Brahms, I know. But it's such a beautiful piec

A Box of Mermaids

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"dreams all made solid" (to quote Peter Gabriel)   That's how I feel about this special package the UPS man brought yesterday.     I gave away my first copy today, to my sweet, bookaholic grandma. She was the first one to read an early version of The Mermaid's Sister --which she still keeps wrapped in tissue paper, as if it were a very precious treasure. I love how she loves the story. I hope you will read it and share her enthusiasm!   The Mermaid's Sister is a Kindle First pick for February:     http://www.amazon.com/Mermaids-Sister-Carrie-Anne-Noble-ebook/dp/B00LWDQO3Q/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1423086016&sr=8-11&keywords=kindle+first   and the paperback and audiobook can be ordered here:   http://www.amazon.com/Mermaids-Sister-Carrie-Anne-Noble/dp/1477820884/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411157327&sr=1-1&keywords=the+mermaid%27s+sister

O'Neill's "Purple Heaven" Recipe

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Grape Pudding for a Snowy Day   In my novel, The Mermaid's Sister , Clara reminisces about a snowy day she shared with her sister Maren and their best friend O'Neill when they were very young.   Clara says: When Auntie forced us inside, we unwrapped ourselves from our layers of woolens and hung them to dry near the fireplace. And you were the first to notice the heavenly scent of Auntie’s hot grape pudding. Steaming in our soup bowls, as purple as an Easter crocus, with dollops of whipped cream melting into froth. I can still taste it if I close my eyes. Can you? We ran our spoons around the edges of the pudding to scoop up the part that had cooled from scalding to merely hot. O’Neill giggled when he took his first bite. He said it tasted like purple heaven.   Here's a recipe for grape pudding. It's also called Kram, and my Swedish mother-in-law always made it for her children after the first snowfall of the year. This isn't her secret recipe,

The Beautiful Journey

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And the story grew wings and flew far...   A year ago--almost to the day--I entered my novel (now titled The Mermaid's Sister ) in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. I had no intention of winning. I didn't really believe my entry would go far among ten thousand others, although I hoped it would get far enough to win the free manuscript review by Publishers Weekly offered as a prize for quarter finalists. And it did! Seashell, Stork and Apple Tree (the book's original title) received a glowing review from PW. I was thrilled! Mission accomplished. But wait! The ride wasn't over! I remember the July day when the phone rang and the caller i.d. said Amazon. I thought they were calling to ask how I liked a recent purchase. Instead, two very excited ladies gave me some of the best news of my life: I'd won the Young Adult category and was in the running for the grand prize. Not only that--they gushed over the book. They loved it. And I had thought that

It's almost party time!

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Happy News! I'm very excited to announce that my local library is hosting a party in honor of the release of The Mermaid's Sister . I've been going to this library for as long as I am able to remember, so that makes my joy even sweeter. What a dream come true! I hope to see you there. The book can be pre-ordered here:     http://www.amazon.com/Mermaids-Sister-Carrie-Anne-Noble/dp/1477820884/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411144021&sr=1-1&keywords=the+mermaid%27s+sister    

Full cover & a lovely review

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The countdown to publication is on! March is just around the corner, I can't tell you how thrilled I am to be able to count the days until I get to hold my very own book in my hands! Talk about a dream come true!     Here is the complete cover:     And here is my first official blurb:   " The Mermaid’s Sister is a lyrical and enchanting debut with enough adventure, magic, and heart to fill an ocean.” —Gwenda Bond, author of Girl on a Wire   As if that wasn't enough excitement...my county library is going to host an event for me March 6. Details coming soon!   The book is available for pre-order here http://www.amazon.com/Mermaids-Sister-Carrie-Anne-Noble/dp/1477820884/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411144021&sr=1-1&keywords=the+mermaid%27s+sister