Monday, November 28, 2011


Hello dear readers,

For any of you still checking this blogsite in vain, please join me at my new website which also hosts my blog:

I won't be updating this blog anymore, so please come on over!

Best wishes,

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

See you this Saturday!

I'll be speaking in downtown St. Pete this Saturday as part of the St. Petersburg Time's Festival of Reading.

All you Tampa Bay folks, I hope to see you there!

More later,

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Florida life

I got stuck in a traffic jam this morning: that's typical. It was caused by a man in scrubs escorting a gopher tortoise across the road: that's Florida!

More later,

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fun stuff

There are so many amazing people out there, blogging and sharing their talents with the rest of us. One of my new favs is here. 

I mean, come on, who would have ever thought "vegan" could look so darn cute! And tasty.

I really like this and this as well. And if all that healthy stuff makes you crave a nice, buttery, cheesy something or other, this site will never let you down.

What are some of your favorite cooking blogs? And if you follow any great crafting blogs, let me know!

More later,

Friday, August 12, 2011

Catching up

No, I didn't fall of the face of the earth. I haven't even been living under a rock. (Except for a few desperate weekends, but that's another story.) But I do have news.

Kindred is getting a new cover! It's coming out in paperback in early 2012 with a gorgeous new cover that I think you'll love. Even more exciting is that I actually made my deadline for my latest novel! I turned it in a day early! (Am I an overachiever or what?) I know, I didn't think it would happen either. Folks, I actually wrote an entire novel in one year. It's a personal record that I don't ever plan to beat. And  it means I'll have a new book coming out next summer, just one year after Kindred was released, which again, is some sort of astounding light-speed development that I'm really not used, nor should I get used to because I doubt it will ever happen again.

So I'll enjoy it while it lasts and I hope you will too!

More later,
PS- Hello to everyone at the Florida Writers Foundation! I had such a nice time meeting all of you last week and I wish you all the best with your writings!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Ted Hipple Special Collection

Oh, what I morning I've had! I just spent it at the University of South Florida's Special Collections Library. This is a place where you're buzzed to get in and surveillance cameras monitor every room. This is where the precious, the rare, the prized are stored. And now, my books as well! (I know, seems like over-kill for my little novels, but they now sit among rare company.)

Here's what happened. I received an email from Prof. Joan Kaywell wondering if I'd donated some signed books. A fellow bookaholic, she took her devotion a step farther than anyone I know. To honor a dear mentor who passed away, she founded the Ted Hipple Special Collection of Autographed Young Adult Literature at USF. The collection now has more than 2,000 autographed books, and not just books, but advanced reading copies, out of print editions, foreign translations and even manuscripts, all signed by the authors. Suzanne Collin's signed Hunger Games ARC is there. Judy Bloom, Meg Cabot. It's a who's who in YA lit and I'm there too!

How cool is that?

More later,

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


"Everyone who's ever taken a shower has had an idea. It's the person who gets out of the shower, dries off, and does something about it who makes a difference." --Nolan Bushnell, American engineer and founding father of the video game industry.

I just love that quote! Doesn't it just make you want to get out and put those what-if's ideas to work? So go!

More later,

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Virginia Public Radio

I was recently fortunate enough to record a short little essay I wrote for Virginia Public Radio. Their studio in Charlottesville, VA (one of my favorite towns in the whole world) is, not surprisingly, awesome (like much in Charlottesville is.) It was my first time in a state-of-the-art recording studio, and what can I say? I liked it!

You can listen to it here.

More later,


Monday, April 11, 2011

News and Sentinel

West Virginia's News and Sentinel recently published a lovely review of Kindred, saying "this book will leave you thinking after the last page is finished." I sure hope so! Read the full review here.

More later,


Thursday, March 31, 2011


To the students of Prof. Ciresi's literature class, I had such a great time hanging out with you on Tuesday! Thanks for the awesome questions and I hope you all get A's in class.

More later,


Tuesday, March 29, 2011



I love this! Found it at the ever lovely Tulips and Flightsuits.

More later,

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Aw, Charlottesville

Thanks to everyone who came to my talks during the Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville! I had such a great time, as is always the case when I'm back in my old stomping grounds.

To the students at the Village School, I'm wearing the awesome ice-blue Village School hat I got after our talk, but sadly, it's already too hot for the hoodie. I'll keep it tucked away until next year. Thanks for all the great questions and the lovely afternoon.

To the parents, staff, and families of the Charlottesville Catholic School, thank you once again for hosting Sweet Reads, which was a fabulous evening for us authors. We all couldn't stop saying how grateful and touched we were by your thoughtfulness.

I hope you enjoy reading Kindred!

More later,

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


This article in the NYTimes: Last Defense at Troubled Reactors: 50 Japanese Workers brought tears to my eyes. Fifty people are sacrificing themselves at this moment in time to save their countrymen and women. They are working in darkness, crawling through the wreckage with only their flashlight for illumination, with explosions in the background, exposed to fatally high levels of radiation as they try to stop this slow moving nightmare of radiation leaks and nuclear catastrophe. This pretty much sums up my idea of what hell looks like.

I know there are times that call for the sacrifice of ourselves for the greater good and this certainly qualifies. But how would we react if placed in such a situation? Would we step up, or run and hide? Fifty people in Japan know the answer and it humbles me and amazes me; they are giving their lives as we speak to save their fellow man.

Read the article here.

More later,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Just horrible

I've been horrified by the situation in Japan, my heart aching for a country dealing with 3 major disasters in a row. I've been amazed by the calm and dignified behavior of people who are hurt, hungry and freezing, who have just lost loved ones as well as all of their possessions, as they continue to place the needs of others above their own.

Below is a link to satellite images of areas in Japan before and after the quake/tsunami/explosion.

It puts our little problems into sobering perspective.

More later,

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Books & Books

I went for a book signing at the fabulous Books & Books in Miami a couple of weeks ago. You know it's going to be good when an independent book store has an international reputation. This is like the Natalie Portman of book stores - classy, successful, hip, and definitely someplace you want to hang out (and attend a book talk, which they have all the time!)

So after my little talk and after I signed the books, I wasn't in any hurry to leave. And good thing, too! The most interesting things in life always happen when you're not in a hurry to leave, don't you think? (And so why am I always in such a hurry again?) But anyway, there I am, hanging out with the events coordinator (hi, Debra!) and the children's book buyer (hi, Becky!) when I hear the story of Becky's tattoos. As you might have guessed from KINDRED, I have this slight fascination with tattoos.

Remember how I said that Books & Books is awesome? How they have signings practically every day? That's because every author who tours goes there (I'm really not exaggerating.) So when Eric Carle (he of The Very Hungry Caterpillar fame) came by for a signing, Becky was suddenly seized with daring inspiration. She handed him a Sharpie and asked him to draw the very hungry caterpillar and told him that she was going to get his sketch on her arm tattooed in place. He drew it. She ran over to a tattoo artist who tattooed over the sketch. Her first ever tattoo.

Eventually she had Mo Williams (Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus) draw his pigeon, and Lane Smith (It's a Book) draw his monkey. She's mulling over who should be next. And one day, when she becomes a children's book illustrator, she'll draw her own character and have it tattooed.

I think that is one of the coolest things I've heard. It's like her arm should be in a museum for modern art and children's literature. She's a walking national treasure.

More later,


Thursday, February 17, 2011

St. Petersburg Times

Check out this nice article that came out in the Sunday edition of the St. Petersburg Times!

More later,

In new young adult novel 'Kindred' Tammar Stein's angel is no cuddly cherub

By Colette Bancroft, Times Book Editor
In Print: Sunday, February 13, 2011

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Tammar Stein's first two young adult novels, Light Years and High Dive, were realistic stories of young women trying to find their places in the world.
Her new one, Kindred, is about another young woman trying to find her place. But here's how Miriam's story begins: "The first time I meet an angel, it is Raphael and I am eighteen." That's not a metaphor for a hot boy. The archangel Raphael crashes through the college student's dorm room wall in a commanding vision so terrifying it knocks her unconscious.
When she comes to, her whole life is changed. A girl who has never been committed to any faith (even though her father is a rabbi, her mother a former nun, and both are theology professors), Miriam finds herself grappling with baffling visions as well as a new job, disturbing physical symptoms and a crisis in the life of her twin brother, Mo.
What moved Stein, who lives in Clearwater with her family, to venture into the genre of supernatural fiction?
"I was driving one day, and on the radio I heard that Black Crowes song, You know she talks to angels/ Says they call her out by her name. And the only thing I could think of was, if the angels knew you by name, that would be a really bad thing."
The idea so intrigued her that she wrote a short story about a girl who meets an angel. Her husband read it and declared it her next novel. "I said, 'What? I don't write those kinds of books.' I think I wanted to prove him wrong. Next thing I knew I had 30 pages."
Angels are enjoying a surge of popularity in fiction — still running behind vampires, but doing well — but when Stein began her book four years ago, she says, "There were no angels around."
Kindred is not a typical angel book because its human characters don't fall in love with their celestial counterparts. "I couldn't imagine human beings falling in love with angels — they're terrifying," Stein says. "I know it's funny to say, but this is a realistic angel book."
She did extensive research on angels, studying Renaissance paintings and interviewing a religion professor and a rabbi about the beings' nature and history. Angels appear only rarely in the Bible; much of the information about them comes from apocryphal sources.
One thing became clear from her research. "These are not cozy, cuddly little cherubs. They are this other being." One of her interview subjects noted that in most biblical accounts of encounters with angels, the first thing the angel says is, "Do not be afraid."
Stein, 33, may not have written supernatural fiction before, but she has been writing for a long time. She grew up in the United States and Israel, and loved to read so much that she decided she wanted to be a writer while in high school. She earned a degree in English literature at the University of Virginia.
Light Years started as a short story I wrote in college. The class loved it, the teacher loved it. I entered it in a contest and won $400. So that made me think writing fiction was a practical way to make a living. I didn't know it would be seven years before I made any more money from it."
While working part-time jobs and living in Italy, Germany and around the United States while her husband was in the military, Stein spent five years on Light Years, not trying in earnest to sell it until the book was "ripe."
"For a while I thought it wasn't going to happen for me," she says. "Then it was like a fairy tale."
She was approached by two agents on the same day; the one she chose soon had three publishers bidding for the book, and it was published in 2006. Light Years was named a Virginia Readers Choice book, an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults and New York Public Library Pick for Teens.
While writing it, she says, it never occurred to her it was a YA novel. But her agent and editors at Alfred A. Knopf were enthusiastic about it as a book for young readers. "YA chose me," she says, calling it "a welcoming field, a very exciting field."
One reason young readers respond to her books, she says, is the age of her protagonists, who have all been about 19. (Miriam is just about to turn that age as Kindred begins.) YA readers are variously defined, but they're roughly ages 12 to 16. "YA readers like to read up about four years."
Stein is already at work on her next novel, which while "not exactly a sequel" will pick up some of the characters who appear in Kindred.
She also makes time for her first love, reading. "I like to say I self-medicate with books." Some books she returns to over and over, ranging from James Clavell's King Rat to Margaret Atwood'sThe Handmaid's Tale.
Her current favorite among YA novels is Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games. "She's my YA hero, because she wrote this series for middle schoolers, about Gregor the Overlander, that are these great boys' books. Then she wrote a YA series with this great, strong, independent girl as a protagonist, for girls at the age when they can be so passive.
"Hunger Games is a perfect book. It's YA, but oh my gosh. It's a dangerous, wonderful book."
Colette Bancroft can be reached at or (727) 893-8435. She blogs on Critics Circle at

By Tammar Stein
Alfred A. Knopf Books
for Young Readers,
266 pages,
Meet the author
Tammar Stein will discuss and sign her book at 2 p.m. Saturday at Inkwood Books, 216 S Armenia Ave., Tampa.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Happy Book Day

Happy Book Day, Kindred!!!

Already one day old, how quickly time flies. (I did mean to wish you a happy book day on your actual pub date...but I didn't. Sorry.)

I'll be in Miami this weekend, first at the Miami Arts Charter School on Friday and then at the incomparable Books and Books of Coral Gables on Saturday at 7pm. Hope to see you there!

More later,

Friday, February 4, 2011

A compelling read

Check out the review from Kirkus!

Author: Stein, Tammar

For the Abbott-Levy siblings, good versus evil is a family affair. The archangel Raphael descends on Miriam, a college freshman, and issues a cryptic command that she botches. Guilt-ridden, Miriam confides in Moses, her twin brother. Mo’s had a similar visitation, only his was demonic. Miriam abruptly leaves school and lands a reporting job at a rural Tennessee newspaper while coping with a sudden, severe gastrointestinal illness of possibly supernatural origins. Supported by her boss, two friendly organic farmers and, especially, Emmett, an appealing tattoo artist, she struggles to understand what’s happening and to accomplish her next task. Then Mo shows up with an agenda of his own. There’s much to like in this series opener: Miriam is engaging, her interfaith roots (Roman Catholic mother, Jewish father) interesting and the heavenly visitations credibly devastating. Less believable are her blind affection for selfish Mo and her circumstances (the job and the world’s best medical benefits). Despite uneven pacing and loose plotting, this intriguing exploration of divine intervention and cast of complex characters add up to a compelling read. (Fantasy. 12 & up)

KINDRED comes out in less than a week! (4 days, actually, but who's counting?) 

More later,