Saturday, October 8, 2016

Ghostville Reading

photo courtesy of Davonna Juroe
Lost in Ghostville fans, if you happen to be in Spokane, WA this October 29, stop by Auntie's Bookstore @4:00 pm and see me teach how to find ghosts.
I'll read a bit from Ghostville, answer some questions, and of course we'll search the store for any spirits who might be haunting the old building. Should be great fun! See you there!

Lost in Ghostville--Children's Event

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Winterbay Abbey Signed Copy Giveaway.


Ghosts and ghouls, my co-author Davonna Juroe ("Scarlette", "Seeing Red"), and I are giving away a signed first-edition copy of our ghost-story novel, “Winterbay Abbey”. The plot follows a Seattle architect who travels to a small town in Maine where he becomes entangled in the terrifying past of a menacing ghost haunting an abandoned abbey. Inspired by classic ghost tales, “Winterbay Abbey” is a contemporary Gothic thriller, reminiscent of Susan Hill’s “The Woman in Black”. This is the perfect book to put you in the Halloween mood and for ghost-story lovers. To enter to win, click on this link to go to my Facebook page. Open to both U.S. and non-U.S. residents, giveaway starts at 10:00 AM PDT on my Facebook Page on Sept. 6th, 2016, and entries are accepted through Sept. 8th, 2016 (12:00 PM PDT). Winner chosen at random and will be announced Sept. 8th, 2016. Good luck!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Day Your Books Arrive

It's always cool to see a FedEx truck pull into your driveway, but especially so when you're expecting something big. My author copies of Lost In Ghostville arrived today. That's a big day for any author--the day you get to see your published work on actual paper, not from your own printer, and bound, with a beautiful cover. Here's my experience opening my box of books.
Take a close look at the cover. The illustration is by Charlie Bowater. I think she made a fantastic cover, and most people who've seen it agree. You can see more of Charlie's work here: We've never met, but she draws a mean mermaid.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Ghosts, ghosts, ghosts...

I'm hitting the spirit world hard in August, with two new releases: Lost in Ghostville, a middle-grade humorous ghost story about a boy, his homemade ghost detector, and a ghost-napper.
Lost in Ghostville

Winterbay Abbey is an adult ghost story I wrote with co-author, Davonna Juroe, and is set in an old, abandoned abbey in Maine, with dark secrets and a future as terrible as its past.
Why all the ghosts, you ask? Well, we all have those times when we're trying to deal with loss, and both these stories helped me confront that, although in different ways. Ghostville does it by being funny, and heartfelt, as well as with robot dinosaurs and dino-poop. Winterbay is a bit darker and intended to scare. Combined, they gave me multiple ways to show the impact of ghosts, both their dark, and light sides.

In either case, I hope you enjoy my expedition into the spirit world.


Saturday, March 12, 2016


Here it is! New cover for a  new book! This is the ARC cover for my new middle grade ghost story, LOST IN GHOSTVILLE, due out Aug. 1 from Capstone.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Great New MIddle Grade Series

I've known Jessica Young for about three years now. We belong to a critique group and every month she sends me a new piece of writing and returns the favor by struggling to read parts of my manuscripts. We've actually never met in person, but we've talked voluminously, including a two-hour conversation about quantum mechanics as it relates to story structure (yes, it was as thrilling as it sounds!). She's fun and smart and funny, and so are her books. Her newest,  Finley Flowers (Original Recipe) has just been released, and it's fantastic. I've had the honor of reading Finley since Jessica first came up with the idea and I'm so happy to see it make its way into the world. It was a fantastic story idea from the start (and has the most awesomely named nemesis in all of kid lit, wish I'd thought of it) and has only gotten better through successive drafts. I'm eager to see if any of the joke ideas I tossed Jessica's way made it into print (none are as good as Finley's nemesis' name though).
Better yet, Original Recipe, adorably crafty Finley's attempt to win a school recipe contest with delicious/disasterous results, is just the first of a series from Capstone publishing. A whole slew of Finley Flowers is on the way, and I can't wait to read all of them, even though I've already read the manuscripts.
Jessica's book is great for early readers and middle grade. If you've got younger kids, check out her picture books too. They're just as wonderful.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Author Mary Cronk Farrell tagged me to be one of the Next Big Thing Blog Hop authors. This traveling blog started in Australia. Each author answers ten questions about his or her work in progress and "tags" from one to five others to be The Next Big Thing. Many thanks to Mary for inviting me to participate.

 I actually have two WIPs, so I'm going to shamelessly tell you about both of them.

 Book one:

 What is the working title of your book?

My working title is FREELAND

Where did the idea come from for the book?

That's a bit of a story. Originally the idea was a takeoff from a manuscript I had just finished. I wanted to put my education, a PhD in History to some use, but not in as a straight historical fiction. I wanted pirates and weird steampunk technology, and came up with an idea about a brother and sister working as spies for George Washington during the 1790s. That got tossed around and reworked quite a bit.

FREELAND is now set in an alternate 1837 where the British Empire has intervened in the Texas War for Independence. Outgoing President Andrew Jackson leads a covert operation into Texas to force the Brits out. That's the setting. The story is about Nathan Freeland, a 14-year old who's spent his whole life dreaming of joining his father as a spy. It begins when Nathan discovers that his father, who was sent to Texas, has been captured by the Brits. Nathan set off with a mysterious friend of his fathers and ends up joining with Jackson on his cross-country voyage to Texas. The mystery builds around Nathan's companion and the true nature of the Brits' plans for Texas. The story climaxes with some rather horrible revelations that promise to change not just Nathan's life, but the world forever.

What genre does your book fall under?

FREELAND is a middle grade steampunk novel.

What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

That's a good question. I've "watched" this story in my head as a movie over and over again. I even wrote the action scenes with particular music in mind. That said, I'm not at all sure who I would cast.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

FREELAND is one boy's epic journey to reunite his family in the shadow of a looming battle between freedom, slavery, and empire in a world of unbridled technological change.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I'm represented by Jamie Weiss Chilton of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I mulled the idea over for almost a year before I started writing. Once I did start the first draft took about six months.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

The LEVIATHAN series by Scott Westerfeld is close in its steampunk retelling of a crisis point in world history.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

Besides the alternate history and steampunk, Nathan's companions on his journey, Victor and Maria, are drawn from a 19th century literary classic and give the novel a bit of monster feel (no vampires, I promise). I also think that Nathan and Victor's friendship on their cross-country journey has a hint of Huckleberry Finn to it. And as an historian, I really enjoyed dealing with the issue of slavery in a way that addresses the American experience, but also expands it into a new world of technological horror. 

What is the working title of your second book?


Where did the idea come from for the book?

The idea for TREY came from a backyard brainstorming session with a friend about ghosts and a kid who gets lost all the time. I kept the ghosts and used getting lost as my catalyst.

What genre does your book fall under?

TREY NEWTON is middle grade humor

What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

As I’m writing about kids I’m sure everyone I would think of will be too old by the time the movie is made, so I’m just going to have one of my nephews play Trey.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

TREY NEWTON wants to find a ghost so he can be rich and famous, but when he discovers that all the ghosts in town, most especially his grandma, have been kidnapped, he must battle robots, dinosaur poop, and his greatest hero to save them.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I'm represented by Jamie Weiss Chilton of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

This one was hard. I spent maybe eight months on the first draft and then wrote many more after that.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

TREY can be wacky at times, a bit like M.T. Anderson’s WHALES ON STILTS. It has a mystery like Stuart Gibson’s, BELLY UP, and it also deals with real emotional issues like Rebecca Stead’s, LIAR AND SPY.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

TREY is very funny and filled with action, a great book for middle grade boys and anyone who is intrigued by the phrase, “dino-poop.”

Here are the authors I'm tagging. Check back for others I will tag: