I heard a rumor…

It is SO good to be back to my book tribe. As some of you already know, I took a little over a year off to be fully present during my youngest son’s senior year. I am pleased to report that he graduated and is off to college at Kent State University. While my oldest is finishing up his last year at The Ohio State University.

That means, I now have an empty nest, and I intend to take advantage of it!

First up, was the July release of my short story, Hidden on the Belt, included in Brave New Girls: Tales of Girls Who Engineer and Explore anthology. I love participating in this project because a portion of each sale goes to scholarships from the Society of Women Engineers for young women learning about careers STEM fields.

This is the second short I’ve written about Stella Purser, the youngest intern ever at the future First Intergalactic Bank and Trust, Lake Erie Branch. The clients are often not human, sometimes not even solid. And yes, Stella’s bank branch is actually under Lake Erie. May I suggest entering through the wet lobby. It’s quite the experience.

Stella has a gift for figuring advanced probabilities in seconds. That’s why novice security guard, Fox Aimsworth, nicknamed her “Chance.” Together, they get into the craziest situations.

In Hidden on the Belt, Stella and Fox tag along for a routine mining equipment check on Vesta in the asteroid belt. When the team stumbles on a major criminal cover up, the mission leader trusts the wrong person. Stella must use her unique talent to elude the bad guys and get the team off the rock spiraling through space.

And if you like, Hidden, be sure to check out the prior Chance & Fox short, Let the Numbers Show Truth, part of Brave New Girls: Adventures of Gals and Gizmos. It’s explosive.

Next up is the debut of my new middle grade horror series, Spooky Rumors. The first book, Some Thing Calls from the Dark, releases September 20, 2023, and as of this post is available for preorder.

The premise of Spooky Rumors is that Agatha Binx, preteen witch and self-proclaimed expert of all things that go bump in the night, collects rumors from her monstrous and ghostly friends to share with my readers.

These books are so much fun, creepy stories with corny humor thrown in, very much in the style of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps. Short chapters, easy readability, and high action make them perfect for reluctant middle grade readers.

Each book/rumor is a standalone and will feature a different set of characters and monster or ghost story based in small town folklore. The first book, Some Thing Calls from the Dark, centers on the Flatwoods Monster of West Virginia. A profile at the end of the book gives readers extra info on the documented sightings.

In Some Thing Calls… Kayla Murphy wakes to an odd call for help coming from the creepy woods beyond her backyard. The next thing she remembers is waking up on her bedroom floor under an open window. Kayla is forced into the woods in search of answers. Each dangerous step leads her closer to the monster of local folklore.

I’m pretty psyched about the team for this one. I was so lucky to connect with the amazing Diane Landolf, editor of Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Tree House Fact Trackers and numerous other major publisher middle grade titles. She polished the manuscript as editor. The book also includes original artwork from the Doug LaRocca.

And there is more on the horizon. Works in progress include A Cloak of Crimson, a Little Red Riding Hood retelling with werewolves set in Alaska. It will be part of a fairy tale box set currently slated for late 2024. I’m also working on the third book in the Mothman Mysteries series, Wrong Side of the Song. And I will be releasing new Spooky Rumors as quickly as possible.

In addition to ramping up the writing, you will again see me at events. I’m just starting to get those scheduled. Check my Home page for the current list.

Lastly, I just wanted to say thank you for your patience while I took this family time. I’m excited about these new stories and hope you are too!

Christmas in July Spotlight: Quinn Loftis

a grew wolves howliday book cover

The Romania Grey Wolves have been through hell and back. A month remains of the mourning period decreed by the Great Luna, and Jen has decided it’s time for the pack to celebrate the many blessings they’ve missed over the years because of all the battles they’ve faced. As usual, there’s a little crazy, a lot of funny, and most of all the loyal love of the pack as they deal with all the chaos that comes with the holidays. It’s A Grey Wolves Howliday!

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How is the virus changing preferred book formats?


I’ve had the time to delve into my TBR since the world slowed down. Just started Eric Asher’s Vesik series. Been wanting to read these for a while, but with 14 books available and four more scheduled for release through July, it was a bit daunting. Days Gone Bad, the first book has been so much fun so far, so I’m glad I made the leap. Thinking this could be one of my new fave series. If you want to pick them up, look for the box sets so you can save a little $.

The interesting part is that I bought this first one as an audiobook. For me, audiobooks are entertainment for my commute, an alternative to the radio during the drive. So why am I buying an audiobook when my state’s stay-at-home order has me locked down?

It all boils down to basic mom math. When two teenage boys spend exponentially greater time in a space than they did before, that space is exponentially times messier, exponentially increasing cleaning time and decreasing reading time.

For me, an audiobook is the perfect solution; allowing me to keep up with housework while enjoying a good story hands free. This audiobook purchase was a core behavioral change. Though I listened to audiobooks regularly, for me, it was a big shift to start listening in places other than the car. And since I spend more time outside of the car than in, it would also make sense that I could potentially increase the volume of audiobooks I listen to in a year. And that epiphany led me to wonder … are preferred formats changing for other readers too?

eBooks are reportedly seeing holiday like sales. Audible is giving away free audiobooks for kids. And authors are trying to decide how to launch their new book without the traditional tour. The new normal is flipping publishing on its head.

WBUR Boston reports that libraries in their area have poured more money than ever before into ebooks after closing their doors because of the virus. In one day, Watertown Free Public Library spent $10,000 in ebooks and audiobooks. Another library recorded a 65% increase in requests for ebooks, according to the article.

According to Statista.com, worldwide people are reading/listening to books 17% more in a study that looked at media consumption since the virus. That number is 11% more looking at just the US and 7% more in the UK. By the way, the top category in the study was news, closely followed by streaming TV, which should not surprise anyone.

And while ebooks and audiobooks are getting a boost, independent bookstores who have no distribution in place for these formats are struggling. Many have laid off employees and closed their doors, unsure if they will reopen. In “The World of books braces for a newly ominous future“, the New York Times takes a look at the indie sellers as well as struggling Barnes and Noble.

So is this the final breath for print? Not so fast. According to the article, “How the coronavirus will change book publishing, now and forever” published by the LA Times in March, the virus has led to a growing demand for print books from online retailers. Yes, print. The article cites that the American Booksellers Association’s members sites saw a 250% increase in traffic, while newcomer Bookshop.org reported a 400% increase in sales.

Insiders are also curious to see how behemoth releases this year like Suzanne Collins’s The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes and Stephenie Meyers’s Midnight Sun will affect book sales with their much anticipated followings. Their raving fans will likely want that print edition in their hands and on their shelves.

Based on the numbers, all book sales are on the increase as everyone searches for entertainment in the safety of their home. Print has shifted from in-store sales to online, but still seems to be decreasing slightly; while sales of ebooks and audiobooks soar. For now, there are few reports differentiating ebooks and audiobooks. It will be interesting to see how this changes as time passes.

Photo credit: Perfecto Capucine on Unsplash