these boots were made for...

I don't own a pair of cowboy boots. But when I was learning to two-step, I clomped around in these tan leather lovelies. Now they fit in the palm of my hand.

1. I need a new pair because I'm headed to Houston this week. Blue Willow Bookshop is hosting a huge TCO event for a bunch of wonderful high-schools. I think I'm also going to need a microphone.

Next I'll need to break out my armwarmers because I'm flying to Chicago. Anderson's Bookshop is hosting another big school event, and I'm psyched to work with the Chicago Public Library on Thursday morning for an arty party involving stencils and metallic fabric paint.

2. Independent bookstores are stocking their shelves throughout my home state of Florida—including the fabulous Books and Books in Coral Gables, the newly-opened Bookstore in the Grove, and the Vero Beach Book Center (which boasts...not a room...but an entire building devoted to kid/teen lit. The stairs are swarming with felt-tip doodles and graffiti, thanks to an all star cast of children's authors and illustrators. There's even a stage for performances. How much do I love this place?

3. Super positive reviews arrived from Booklist, School Library Journal, and the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books...still more rolling in from a long list of websites, including TeensReadToo. And what do you know? The list includes a few "grown up" literary blogs. (Colleen Mondor just posted a thoughtful review at Bookslut ).

4. My dad has become my literary pimp. I keep signing copies for his Sunday morning coffee buddies, the neighbors next door, and my dentist. Somebody left a sweet message on my dad's answering machine, talking about how much she enjoyed Total Constant Order. She passed it to her daughter (who happens to have OCD and doesn't like to read...but she's reading my book and loving it!) Unfortunately, Dad erased the message.

5. Most of all, I'm thankful for emails like this one:

"I just finished the book this morning...I couldn't put it down. it was far better than I thought it would be and I pretty much knew it would be great lol so u know it was amazing. Fin and Thayer are truely one of a kind characters. I hope to read many more of your stories in the future =) "