Author of Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction

Published by Guardian Angel Publishing December 2014:

Jeremiah Lucky and the Guardian Angel
Jeremiah needs a little help and he gets it with the sudden appearance of his guardian angel. Chapter book for ages 7-10.

Jeremiah Lucky Finds Puppy Love
Jeremiah dodges a kiss from a princess and falls head over heels for a lost puppy. Chapter book for ages 7-10.

Watch for these titles coming soon:

The Whispering Chimney
Eleven-year old Bethany finds a stone chimney and discovers a beautiful but terrifying past. (upper middle grade)

(Beyond the) Stone Eagle Gate
David, age fifteen, flees a false accusation and takes refuge in a haunted, abandoned mansion. (YA, historical fiction ghost story)

The Interplanetary Adventures of Yan Sunnara: Book I Rescue on Lato
Cultural scientist Yan Sunnara rescues an unusual child on the planet of Lato with the help of an exotic and beautiful Uvian archaeologist. (Adult, soft Science Fiction, Rescue on Lato is the first of a series of four novellas.)

Cross Over
Three teens are connected by a mysterious and sometimes frightening ability to cross over from one dimension here on earth to another. This YA novel placed in the top three in Florida Writers 2013 RPLA competition. Speculative Fiction.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Two great YA books

Yesterday I read Judy Blundell's YA book What I Saw and How I Lied. This story is a fascinating read for many reasons. The setting begins in Brooklyn and then moves to Palm Beach, Florida. Time period is 1947. I doubt if the title was the author's original choice, but I have to admit, for many teen readers, it would definitely jump off the shelf. Evie Spooner, age fifteen, comes of age in this story as she makes a choice that saves her family. That she is able to tell her lie and get beyond her own disgust and heartbreak shows the resiliency and growth of this strong, teen character. I particularly enjoyed the author's deft handling of the time period. The story's plot involves blackmail, adultery, young love and budding sexuality. Did I mention murder? A National Book Award Winner, What I Saw and How I Lied will appeal to readers for many years to come.

Before the SCBWI writer's conference last weekend, I was able to read The Spirit Window by Joyce Sweeney. Joyce is a Miami based writer who also does writing coaching. No wonder she is sought by developing writers. She is a master.  The Spirit Window was published in 1998 and is skillfully written with many layers of interest. The underlying problem deals with suppressed feelings of both fifteen-year-old Miranda and her father. Both have buried feelings about Miranda's mother's death. A visit to Florida and the subsequent death of her grandmother provide the catalyst to help both acknowledge and face their long buried feelings of loss. Preservation of natural areas is an important sub-theme and a summer love story between Miranda and nineteen-year-old Adam contributes to a heartwarming story.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Great SCBWI conference in Miami

  I'm still basking in the excitement and all the new ideas gleaned from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Winter conference in Miami, FL. Every presentation was chock full of information and inspiration. Several added a good measure of humor and Bruce Hale gifted us with a song! What a writer, actor, artist, and cool dancer! He looks good in a hat, too. Rubin Pfeffer's talk about the digital revolution really helped me get a better focus on e-books and apps. He's an agent now with a unparalleled background in publishing that spans over thirty years. I am delighted to have met and chatted with Rubin as well as Sarah Davies, Michael Bourret and Erin Murphy. These agents are at the top of their game and all those attending appreciated their approachability, warmth, and expertise.
  The editors panel enlightened us as to the editor's role in the acquisition process. The editor who supports a story must have the enthusiasm to push it through the complicated process of a sale. As one editor said, they've got to love it not just like it. This helps me understand the rejection letters I have received that praised my work and still rejected it. With my notes in hand and my own enthusiasm still brimming over, I intend to spend a busy week researching, planning, and most of all, WRITING!

Some Great MG and YA books

  • Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman
  • These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
  • Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
  • Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
  • Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood
  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
  • Red Blood Road by Moira Young
  • On Little Wings by Regina Sirois
  • Nation by Terry Pratchett
  • Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
  • Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley (Printz 2012)
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Fire by Kristin Cashore