Tag Archives: savvy

A-Z: Appetizer

Holidays are divine, as far as I’m concerned. While spending time with family always tops my list of great things to do, spending time with family in the kitchen surrounded by scrumptious appetizers warrants a spot one cloud away from heaven.

Suffice it to say, my taste buds were thrilled this past weekend. And now, thanks to Jenny Hansen, my appetite has been stimulated again.

Following in her footsteps, I’ve taken the A-Z Challenge. During the month of April, I will blog my way through the alphabet, taking only Sundays off for good behavior. If you are as crazy as me, you can join the fun by clicking on this link and signing up for a month of blogging madness before the end of today.

If you’re only semi-crazy, you can follow my journey and that of other insane and talented bloggers for the next thirty days. A list of their blogs will appear here. And don’t fret, not all of them are geared toward writing. Check the codes next to their name to see if one fits your interests.

For instance, I have a (WR) listed next to my blog which stands for writing. Other categories include things like crafting, cooking, gardening, gaming, movies, books, education, etc. You name it, someone is blogging about it. So, please, check out the list and see if any names tickle your tweeter.

In the meantime, I will do what I do best–tie together writing and real life!

APPETIZERS

The whole purpose of an appetizer is to get you hungry. Chefs have long ago figured out that stimulating the appetite with a tasty morsel can have you begging for more.

Writers are no different. We spend oodles of time crafting the perfect literary teaser for our works. We do this in the form of the elevator pitch, the query letter, the back cover blurb and the synopsis.

Like great chefs, we condense entire meals into delectable phrases and enticing sentences. We give our potential readers a tiny taste of what’s to come in one compact creation.

A is for Appetizer: that small portion of perfectly blended words that whet the literary appetite.

Perfect it like your favorite dish and stimulate your reader’s hunger.

My top five apps are, in no particular order:

  • Homemade guacamole. Add a margarita and I could die happy.
  • Chili conqueso. Simple, not pretty to look at, but incredibly delish.
  • Cucumber dill dip. Nothing says spring like a fresh scoop of this!
  • Buffalo chicken dip. Scooped up with celery…yummmmm.
  • And a plain old veggie tray complete with cukes, mushrooms, cauliflower and peppers of every color.

One of my favorite literary appetizers is from a quaint MG novel by Ingrid Law. Savvy has a supercharged cover for young readers and a jacket blurb that had me hooked.

Mibs Beaumont is about to become a teenager. As if that prospect weren’t scary enough, thirteen is when a Beaumont’s savvy strikes–and with one brother who causes hurricanes and another who creates electricity, it promises to be outrageous…and positively thrilling. 

What’s your favorite appetite teaser?

Curious minds want to know.

Got Savvy?

No, I’m not talking about Jack Sparrow, though he definitely had the ability to woo women folk with his endearing slurs and misplaced charm.  Rather, the savvy I’m talking about is Ingrid Law’s middle grade novel, which I won in a contest from my dear friend and blogger over at Book Binge. 

In Savvy thirteen year-old Mibs has a story to tell and by golly, she’s gonna get it all out.  This endearing MC has a conversational tone that sucked me in from the get go.  I felt as if I was privvy to a secret, like no one else in the world was getting the low down on the Beaumont family but me.  So bring your flashlight, crawl under the blanket and settle in for a quick review.

So, what is Savvy?  In Mibs’ world, savvy is a special thing you get when you turn thirteen.  It’s that little extra something that makes you who you are and sets you apart from everyone else.  It’s the salesman who can sell ice to an eskimo.  That’s savvy.

Yet, Mibs’ family takes their savvy one step further.  They can move mountains, change weather patterns and pull radio waves right out of thin air.  As our story opens, “on the Thursday before the Friday before the Saturday” of her thirteenth birthday, Mibs dreams of xray eyes and other teenage girl wishes. 

However, before the night is out, those preteen wishes disappear with the screech of tires and the smashing of cars.  With her father in the hospital, the focus is no longer on Mibs’ cake, candles and impending powers.  Instead, her savvy is all but forgotten.

Forgive me for interjecting this quick writer’s dissection in the middle of a reader’s review.  In light of all the book beginning contests going on, I can’t help but point out what makes the opening line of this book amazing.

Great Beginnings

“When my brother Fish turned thirteen, we moved to the deepest part of inland because of the hurricane and, of course, the fact that he’d caused it”

I was hooked from the first sentence of this whimsical tale.  It has everything a great opening line should have: intrigue, information, voice and a little spunk. 

  • Intrigue: how in the world can a thirteen year old cause a hurricane?  And where is “inland”?
  • Information: right away, Miss Law tells us without saying a single word that this book is for middle grade readers.  She does so by giving Fish’s age and by the tone of the sentence.  It’s written young, not quite YA yet.  We also know this family has some issues and already they’ve had to move. 
  • Voice: “…we moved to the deepest part of inland…” shows the MC is going to spill her family’s secrets, but with her distinct flavor–in her own round-about way.  It screams, “hang on, this is going to be a wild ride.”
  • Spunk: Fish.  Who in the heck names their kid Fish?  Yep, this is a family I want to hang with, if only to find out more about the hurricane-causing brother.  And who better to tell the story than the sassy Mibs?  “Of course.” 

When Mibs wakes up on her thirteenth birthday, things have changed.  She believes her savvy has arrived in the ability to wake those around her.  Her course of action becomes obvious–she must make her way to her father’s hospital bed and wake him from his crash induced coma. 

Savvy is the story of Mibs’ journey as she stows away on a bus of misfits.  The cast of characters grows as unlikely friendships are made and unplanned stops along the way land Mibs and her traveling companions in one predicament after another.  By the time she reaches her father’s bed side, she realizes her savvy is not what she thought. 

Can she still save her ordinary poppa, whose only savvy is losing all his hair?

Grab a copy of Savvy and find out for yourself.