It’s been a little while since I’ve blogged about my upcoming figure skating novel, SUGAR AND ICE (due out from Walker/Bloomsbury December 7, 2010!) and there’s some very cool news to share!

My editor recently sent me the first of the journal reviews from  Booklist, and it was a great one!

"Messner is awfully good at individualizing what might otherwise be stock characters, especially Claire, whose eagerness and apprehension come in equal measure. Of course, the (sometimes) glamorous world of figure skating doesn’t hurt for drawing readers, and even those who don’t know their double toe loops from their single salchows will enjoy reading about what it takes to make it on the ice… Satisfying and likely to have wide appeal."—Booklist

Oh, I hope they’re right about that wide appeal.  Also…that note about individualizing characters?  It made me smile in a big way, since I spent many hours of revision, making sure all those skaters felt real.

I also learned that SUGAR AND ICE will be a Junior Library Guild selection!  I’m so excited about all the copies that will be available to kids in schools as a result of that.

Plans are taking shape for a snow-sparkled book launch event at Lake Placid’s fantastic indie, The Bookstore Plus, perfect because the book is set in Lake Placid, with much of the action taking place at the Olympic Center.  If you live in the Adirondacks, I’d love it if you’d put December 11th on your calendar!  More to come on that soon…

And finally, SUGAR AND ICE has its own Facebook page now. You can click here and "Like" it if you’d like updates on an ARC giveaway (coming soon!), launch events ,and more.

There’s a final cover now, too, which I just love-love-love. 

I just love the colors and the way Joe Cepeda, who did the cover art for THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z. as well, captured Claire’s spirit just perfectly.  December 7th can’t come soon enough!

Happy Pi Day! A dedication and a challenge…

It’s March 14th ~  and if you’re a mathy person, you’re probably already baking various number-shaped treats to celebrate Pi Day! 

For those who aren’t so mathy…all the fuss is about the date, 3-14, and the fact that this date makes up the first three digits of pi, the mathematical relationship between the diameter and circumference of a circle. It goes on after the 3.14, of course…

3.1415926535… and…well…it goes on.  You can click here to see the first million digits. Or visit for more pi-related awesomeness.

I’m dedicating today’s Pi Day post to the following people, some real and one made-up:

Real people first… My son and his school team competed in the State MathCOUNTS competition for New York yesterday and did a fantastic job, both concentrating and having fun in what was a pretty high-pressure environment.  Go, SMS Team!

Now the made-up person…  Claire, the main character in my December figure skating novel, SUGAR AND ICE, isn’t just a skater; she’s also a talented math student who has to juggle her intense new skating schedule with a big "Math out of Bounds" research project on Fibonacci.  (Do you know about the Fibonacci sequence? Personally, I think there ought to be a Fibonacci Day, too, but that’s a subject for another post.)

I’ve been reviewing page proofs for SUGAR AND ICE this weekend and had to stop and smile at the part where a friend teases Claire about her passion for math club, calling her Pi-Face. 

Claire would love this NPR Pi Day feature I found this morning.  It explains a new kind of poetry…pi-ku.  It’s like Haiku, only the syllables correspond to the digits in pi. Like so…

Line 1 = 3 syllables
Line 2 = 1 syllable
Line 3 = 4 syllables

My attempts…

Perfect Sunday.


Makes me crave pie.

So who’s feeling both mathy and poetic enough this morning to give it a try in the comments section?  Come on…I double-pi dare you!