Goals for 2017 – Writing, Reading, Relationships, Peace of Mind


Hello, fellow book junkies! Happy New Year! ‘Tis the season, so I’ll get this out there. In putting together my goals for 2017, I’ve kept things simple and focused on what will give me joy and peace of mind. Here are my:

Goals for 2017.

  • Finish writing & polishing YA dark modern fantasy manuscript by May 1, 2017.
  • Read more YA books featuring bi females and write a blog post about them.
  • Spend time with people. Nurture relationships.
  • Walk every day.
  • Keep going on Saturday morning hikes.
  • Read 96 books.
  • Devote more time to keeping the house looking nice.
  • Never, never, never, never give up.

–Eve Messenger

NEW YA Book Review: We Are Still Tornadoes #amreading


Newly out this month from St. Martin’s Griffin is a YA contemporary penned by co-authors Michael Kun and Susan Mullen called We Are Still Tornadoes–a quick, feel-good read.

Set in the 1980s, We Are Still Tornadoes takes us into the relationship between lifelong friends Cath and Scott through letters they write to one another after Cath moves away to college.

As someone who also grew up with a dear friend of the opposite sex (coincidentally, also named Scott), I appreciate how authentically Kun and Mullen capture the open, honest, sometimes goofy, sometimes flirtatious friendship between a girl and a boy.

Cath, Scott and their shared history are totally believable. Scott is very funny. Cath is more cerebral but can hold her own in the humor department. Both are genuinely good people navigating the turbulent seas of post-high school life. They make mistakes, deal with social faux pas, encounter tragedies, and through it all we root for them.

We Are Still Tornadoes’ only weakness is its ending, which would have benefited greatly from more of a build-up and a denouement. No joke, when I arrived at the last page of the story, I kept tapping my e-book screen thinking there had to be more–but nope. Despite the rushed ending, We Are Still Tornadoes is definitely worth the read and deserves a hearty four out of five stars.

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–Eve Messenger


Little Kimono & Dad

Little me with the best dad ever. 

As a child, who was your favorite relative?

My favorite relative was my dad. When he got home after a long day of work, he made time to talk to me, play board games and word games with me, start tickle fights, and make me feel unconditionally loved.

If you could be a tree or plant, what would you be?

I’d be a big tree with wide branches overlooking the forest and seeing up into the sky. Woodland creatures would make their homes in me and be my friends.

What would be your preference, awake before dawn or awake before noon?

My preference would be to awake before dawn, though I rarely do this anymore. I love the quiet of early morning, running and cycling, getting lots of writing in before the day begins.

Would you like to sleep in a human size nest in a tree or be snuggled in a burrowed spot underground?

If it’s big, really comfortable, and not too high off the ground, I’d go for the human size nest in a tree.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful that I “woke up” and starting reaching out to friends and family. I realized I was sort of cocooning, but I’m reconnecting now and it feels good. Next week I’m looking forward to the relief of being done with a couple of major events that have been zapping my time and emotional energy.

–Eve Messenger

Strange How One of the Best Talks Can Come at 4:30 a.m. in an Emergency Room

Strange how, in the course of our busy lives, one of the best talks can come at 4:30 a.m. in an emergency room with machines beeping and nurses conversing in the hall.

3:12 a.m. My husband stands specter-like beside our bed, shocking me awake with, “I need to go to the hospital.”

The hospital (where our daughter was born) is a three-minute drive from our home, so I drive.

3:14 a.m. At the emergency room, my husband is a man experiencing chest pain; there is no wait.

3:18 a.m. Once we’re in the examining room a nurse–handsome, calm, good-natured–asks, “Pain level from one to ten?”



Embarrassment as a huge team of student doctors surrounds my husband’s bed with questions and conjecturing.

More tests.

My husband is wise and smart; he tells excellent stories; and, so far, he is not dying.

4:30 a.m. Morphine drip. My husband relaxes into its relief and enchantment while I, seated on a chair with my head resting on his bed’s side rail, float in a woken-in-the-middle of the night half-dream

We nerd out on Game of Thrones.

“How could Maester Aemon have access to milk of the poppies in Castle Black?”

“George R. R. Martin is a genius.”


“Remember when we first met in the writers’ workshop at UCI?”

“You used to wear a cowboy hat.”

“You were good at stroking the instructor’s ego.”

In the daily crush of earning a living, raising a family, and Keeping It Together, we rarely have the time–or take the time–to say how proud we are of one another, which makes me feel all the more grateful for what my husband says next.

“I’m proud of you for pursuing your writing dream,” he says, “You’re doing everything right. You will get there. There’s just one more important thing you have to do…” This is where my husband, master storyteller that he is, closes his eyes for effect and employs his trademark dramatic pause. At last, he says, “Don’t quit.”

I look at him and love him and memorize this moment. And I commit his words to memory.

Don’t quit.

— Eve Messenger

P.S. My husband is fine.

YA Reader, I Could Really Use Your Suggestions

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I’m planning a YA book that I’m REALLY looking forward to writing, but I’m having a hard time classifying the genre. It’s about a modern girl fantasizing her way through major life changes and social awkwardness. There’s an integral paranormal aspect, but it’s subtle – no werewolves, witches, vampires — and a sprinkling of chapters set in an earlier period of history.  There’s a little romance, but I’d say it’s more about family and relationships.

What would you call that genre?

Josie’s Book Corner, I’m looking at you.