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, December 12, 2014

Three Excellent but Very Different Books

The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow Books). This story is about a seven-year-old boy who is worried about starting second grade. The Year of Billy Miller is a Newbery Honor book and I admit, I usually think of the Newbery books as being for older readers. However, this book is charming in many ways and would certainly be enjoyed by children slightly older. What I loved besides the heart-warming, feel-good story is the characterization. All of Henkes's characters jump off the page and the reader finds herself caring and rooting for all of them: Billy, his little sister Sal, his teacher mom, and his struggling artist and stay-at-home dad, lovingly called "Papa."

Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner (Candlewick Press). Maggot Moon is a Printz Honor book, brilliantly written, fantastically creative, and possibly the saddest story I've ever read. That said, I am glad I did. Set in a dystopian world reminiscent of Nazi Germany, Standish Treadwell lives with his grandpa in extreme fear and constant hunger. The story moves quickly spinning out a tale of bravery and love. Standish is fifteen, dyslexic and has different-colored eyes. His parents have disappeared. Standish and his grandpa think it is just a matter of time until both of them are taken to a maggot farm. It appears there is nothing they can do until Standish and his only friend Hector discover the moon man.

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman (Balzer & Bray). Readers who loved Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein will enjoy this historical fiction novel set in Munich in the 1930s. Gretchen Muller, age 18, is described as a "pet" of Adolph Hitler whom she calls Uncle Dolf. The story details the early days of the National Socialist Party and its rise to power. Gretchen is nagged by a mystery: was her father a Nazi hero who jumped in front of bullets meant for Hitler or was he murdered by someone he trusted? When Gretchen sees her brother cruelly beat an old Jewish man and then meets Daniel Cohen, a young Jewish reporter, she starts to question all she has been taught. One by one the lies are revealed until nothing but danger remains. Anne Blankman carefully delineates in her closing which parts of her story were added fiction and which were researched historical facts. This is an excellent, important book.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Jeremiah Lucky and the Guardian Angel

Eight-year-old Jeremiah tries hard. That's good. But he worries too much. Not so good. Jeremiah misses his dead father and pushes himself to be grown-up to help his mom. With so many things to remember, Jeremiah's forgetfulness grows. What will happen when Jeremiah teams up with his guardian angel?

Wonderfully illustrated by artist Eric Hammond, Jeremiah Lucky and the Guardian Angel is a chapter books intended for ages seven through ten. Available in December 2014, this story can be purchased directly from Guardian Angel Publishing and through major book retailers such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

The following is an excerpt from chapter one when Jeremiah first meets his guardian angel:

   Jeremiah turned and looked toward the back of the room. The figure appeared shadowy at first and small, but then brightened and became clear. Jeremiah stared and rubbed his eyes.
   "Check your book bag," the voice said again. He pointed toward Jeremiah's book bag hanging near his jacket.
   Jeremiah stood up and went over to the bag and coat rack. He unzipped his bag and discovered his two library books. Inside the racing book, Jeremiah found his permission slip and the envelope with the three dollars.
   "I didn't put these here," he said. "I forgot."
   The man who sat on Johnny's desk chuckled. He was no bigger than a kid, but he looked like a tiny man. The tiny man had a shiny bald spot on his head and a reddish mustache. He held a rounded, purple hat in his hands.
   "Who are you?" Jeremiah asked. "How did you know they were there?"
   "Your mother put them in last night. She was afraid you'd forget."
   "But how did you know that? Who are you?"
   "My name is Angus. Angus McDermit. I guess you could say I've been assigned to give you some extra help. It happens now and then, you know." The man laughed again and crossed his ankles, bouncing his legs up and down. "The councel has noticed that you're worrying a lot. That's not good, not for eight years old. And you try hard. That is good. So, they ordered a little help and I'm it--your guardian angel."
   "Guardian angel! You're kidding. You're a man. Angels are white with golden hair and--wings!" Jeremiah nearly shouted the last word.
   "Well, you got me on that one." Angus took a little leap off the desk and twirled around. "No wings. Never-the-less, you'll see." Jeremiah's mouth dropped open. The little man had disappeared.

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