Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

Defending Irene was Released as an E-book Today

August 9, 2016

My soccer novel about an American girl playing on an Italian boys’ team in Italy was released as an e-book today. Since DEFENDING IRENE originally came out in 2004, a few sections will undoubtedly read more like historical fiction. But so many things hold up. Italian women and girls are making slow but serious headway against the perception that they shouldn’t be involved in such a violent, brutal sport. In fact, they just missed qualifying for the Euro Cup this year. Barnes and Noble has an excerpt of the first few chapters of DEFENDING IRENE on its site at the bottom of this page.  Amazon customers can go here, but there’s no excerpt so far.



League of Extraordinary Writers

December 9, 2015

I’ll be leading a workshop at the Powell’s in Beaverton, Oregon at 2:00 PM on the relation of conflict and character to story.

League of Extraordinary Writers

League of Extraordinary Writers

The Society of School Librarians International Best Books

November 27, 2012

I got the news that my young adult mystery SUSPECT was on the top of the Society of School Librarians International best books for language arts (grades 7-12) last fall, but the official link never popped up for me until last week. Now I’m honored to share it, especially since I’m in such good company.

Flying the Dragon

June 25, 2012

I suspect that one of the reasons that I’ve written two cross-cultural books is that I like reading them.  That’s why I’m excited about the launch of Natalie Dias Lorenzi’s Flying the Dragon.  For a behind the scenes look at how this book came to be, you can visit Emu’s Debuts for the first installment.  


Literary Rambles

April 23, 2012

I was so delighted to see that Casey McCormick and Natalie Aguirre received some well-deserved recognition for their fabulous blog, Literary Rambles. It made theWriter’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers in the May/June issue.  They came in at #13 under “Everything Agents.”   In addition to spot-lighting agents, they also profile writers.  So this is a great place to get more information on new releases.

Guest Post on Peter Salomon’s Blog

April 11, 2012

I agreed to serve as one of Peter’s victims guests, so  I’m his Wednesday interview.  Peter’s debut novel, Henry Franks, is coming out this September from Flux.  The description on the Flux website is only slightly different from the query letter that Peter used to get some book industry attention.  He was kind enough to share it with me when I put out a call for successful queries to share in a talk for an SCBWI retreat a few years ago:

Sometimes, the only thing worse than forgetting is remembering.

Sixteen-year-old Henry Franks almost didn’t survive the accident that claimed his mother’s life and, suffering from post-traumatic amnesia, he relies upon his father to tell him who he is.

If he can trust his father.

HENRY FRANKS details one man’s obsessive desire to save his son and one boy’s need to find himself.

While a serial killer stalks the small southern town he lives in, Henry unearths the bitter truth behind his mother’s death—and the terrifying secrets of his own dark past

Back to Blogging

April 1, 2012

Believe it or not, I’ve missed my little soapbox.  Every once in a while I would find myself thinking that it would be nice to pull together a nice little rant on some topic or other.  But then I’d think about my stack of undone student assignments.  I know how hard it can be to wait for feedback, so I try to avoid making them wait any longer than I have to.  And then there was the siren call of Venice for my Italian chase novel.  I was really struggling with my first chase scene along the canals of Venice. Not that I was suffering. After all, I was busy checking out bird’s eye and ground level views of Venice courtesy of Google Maps.  This is such a great tool and time-waster all rolled into one. 

I’m also keeping copies of Rick Steves’ Italy and Art for Dummies  within an armslength of my computer. These books were invaluable when it came to deciding on what to visit when my family lived in Europe. 

I remember wrinkling my nose when my husband picked up the Dummies book until I saw it was by Thomas Hoving, the former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He definitely made art interesting and accessible.   And now that I think about it, I wouldn’t be writing this novel in this way without the  perspective he offered on one of his favorite artists, an artist who should be better known….

What Really Happened to Humpty? He won!!

December 14, 2011

My friend Jeanie Franz Ransom just received some eggs-citing news! Her picture book WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO HUMPTY just won the New Mexico Land of Enchantment Award for best picture book narrative.  So right now her eggstremely funny book is sitting on a website just to the left of THE HUNGER GAMES.   I’m proud to be an official aunt to this book.  It says so in the dedication!  What does a literary aunt do?  She offers support and encouragement just like the biological ones.  Literary aunts are also extremely proud when they see a manuscript hatch and go on to really great things.

Before and After Harry Potter (Grades 3-5)

November 16, 2011

It was such fun to see SAVING THE GRIFFIN turn up on a master list of fifty or so books for kids to read before and after Harry Potter.  Susan Fichtelberg and Bonnie Kunzel pulled this list together for their June, 2011 ALA presentation.    A quick cruise through Susan’s website, Encountering Enchantment, made it clear that she’s extremely knowledgable about fantasy and science fiction.  In fact, School Library Journal thought that her Encountering Enchantment: A Guide to Speculative Fiction for Teens should be a part of every YA collection.

So if you’re trying to find some quality fantasy novels for middle grade readers, you should really check out this list!

Parenting Characters

November 3, 2011

I was one of the writers who shared a few techniques in Sue Bradford Edwards article,  “How to Avoid Parenting Your Characters.”  It was the lead piece in the 11/1 WRITER’S DIGEST e-mail newsletter.  Congratulations, Sue!