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!