Thursday, December 22, 2016

That's a wrap!

THANK YOU! to everyone who came out yesterday to the Bridgewater Barnes and Noble to see Cathy Daniels and me for Jack's release into the wild! You make these events fun! And Jack says:

He wishes all of you good things for next year...and he has a surprise.... a new adventure! He'll let you know when you can catch up with him, but here's a peek at Cathy's beautiful cover art!

So until 2017, Jack and his friends, my family and I, wish you all Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Healthy New Year, and happy Holidays!


Monday, December 19, 2016

Jack's Out in the Wild!

In case you forgot....

Illustrator Cathy Thole-Daniels and I would love to see you there! Stop by! Say hello! Sign up for a chance to win Evolution Revolution: Book 2, Simple Plans! And help out a good cause when you buy any books!


And Jack was named a Best of 2016 Last Minute Gift recommendation! Check it out! here

In a quiet wood, a gray squirrel declares war on the machines that invade his wood, threatening his nest and tree. Taught words and how to use simple machines like the wheel by a young boy who names him Jack, the squirrel shares what he’s learned with the other animals. And so we enter the world of Evolution Revolution: Simple Machines (CreateSpace Independent Publishing, $5.99.)
This is a smart and charming book for younger readers that will have them wondering just what the animals in the yard are up to! Watch for the next book in this series coming soon. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Tell Santa What You Want For Christmas...

No, I'm not asking for anything (world peace and compassion seem to be out of reach for humanity), although I would like a new agent, a new book contract, and if I promise to be very good, a spot on the NYT bestseller list. But if I could play Santa, this is what I would give the characters in my books...

Let's start with Jack, the common gray squirrel in the Evolution Revolution series. Without spoiling anything in the next 3 books of the series, I would love to give him a woodland where he never has to worry that humans will come cut it down. Don't know if even a national forest is safe these days from greedy corporations and the Environmental Protection Agency (ha!) being so buddy-buddy. I would give Jack the biggest tree of his choice and hope it was safe for any future Jacks...

For Alice in my short story, Through the Worm Hole (Beware the Little White Rabbit anthology), I would give her all the rare, exotic tea she could drink. I would hope that she could keep it safe from thieving giant rabbits...

Bec in Blonde OPS- I could say a new super-duper laptop, but hackers are particular. You can't buy just any laptop. (My sons taught me this. The hard way. They choose, I pay part because what they want is always so ridiculous.) So for Bec, I would gift her with an all expense paid trip to H.O.P.E. (Hackers on Planet Earth), so she could learn even more hacking skills to catch the bad guys. I would hope that she wouldn't get dragged into the darker side of hacking; once was enough...

Sharisse in Sirenz and Sirenz Back In Fashion you might think is easy to buy for; she loves fashion, bling, the nicer things in life. But when you have Hades, Lord of the Underworld, throwing 5 carat diamonds rings at you and lavishing you with whole new wardrobes, well, it's a little harder. But I think what Sharisse would want more than anything material is a soul mate. Someone with the romance of Hades, the sweetness of Caz, and the urban appeal of Jeremy. That's a tall order, but I'd wish that for her.

To Meg, I would give her a vintage clothing store. She'd never wear outrageously priced, brand new clothing. She would be happiest discovering, buying, and reselling quality vintage. (I can feel Sharisse shuddering at the thought of wearing someone else's used clothes...) To Meg, this would be good karma because it's reusing something rather than creating more, reducing waste as clothes are recycled, and recycling materials instead of dumping them. A win for Meg and the earth.

Ah, Hades... the ultimate bad boy you love to lust after. He's married to Persephone (or, was tricked into it), so Sharisse under his Christmas tree is not going to happen. The ancient Greek gods don't seem to have divorce as an option, so for both Hades and Persephone, I gift them marriage counseling. If they spent more time trying to please their partner rather than themselves, I think they could make a go of it, and stop troubling the poor, hapless humans.

I have a host of other characters from unpublished works. Maybe next year they'll make the list (if they're very good and get published).

And what holiday gift would you give your characters?


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Magic in Ordinary Things

I've been quiet on social media and missed my Monday blog post because this is where I've been:

St. Thomas, the US Virgin Islands. Ahhh. I haven't had a vacation in several years (I don't count days doing roller coasters or Saturday/Sunday trips as real vacations.)  Got off the plane (eventually, but that's a story/rant for another day...) and it was 85 degrees. Sunny. Left the kids home. Cleared my desk so everything else could wait until I returned. Even book stuff. Total relaxation.

Funny thing, though... are writers really ever away from work? I think not. While here:

on this lovely beach (and several others), I heard a rooster crowing. Yep. There are wild chickens on the island. One of many friendly tour guides/cab drivers theorized that they originated from when cock fighting was popular. When it fell out of favor (or legality), the chickens were set free to fend for themselves. (Hey, if someone wants to abandon me to the paradise of the Virgin Islands, I'm game.) With the perfect weather, little or no predators, and bugs enough, they've flourished. Mama hens and chicks cross roads, are fed by tourists, and cruise the beaches. What a life!

What a story... No matter where a writer goes, story ideas pop up. You don't have to go to an exotic locale. Stories are the magic in ordinary things. The idea for Jack's story in Evolution Revolution: Simple Machines (and the entire series) came from a backyard squirrel and my son's third grade science homework. It was pushed along by a TV documentary. Every story has a basis in day to day life. Even in Sirenz and Sirenz Back in Fashion, the 'ordinary' is the tense relationship of two girls, very different from each other, trying to find common ground and work together. You may think there's nothing ordinary about Greek gods, especially Hades, but look past the immortality and you see a flawed being; Selfish? Yes. Arrogant? Totally. But there are qualities hidden beneath the hard polished exterior that speaks of struggles we are part of or witness to. Nothing ordinary in Beware the Little White Rabbit because it's a sci fi story? Who hasn't fought to get back something that someone has taken from them? And Blonde OPS? A story of teenage rebellion, finding oneself, and using one's talents in a positive way. Even my horror story, Faces in the Wood in the Scare Me to Sleep anthology isn't just about unnatural things; it highlights following our instincts- and protecting those we love, especially annoying little brothers.

So take the ordinary and make it extraordinary, make it magical. Now my island chicken story needs to hatch,

Keep your eyes open, magic is everywhere...