Award Nomination


One of my Works-In-Progress was nominated for the Joan Lowery Nixon Award at the 2016 Houston SCBWI conference. The winner will be selected by author Joy Preble (It Wasn’t Always Like This) and will get a year’s mentorship from Joy. Fingers and toes crossed!

logo-scbwiSCBWI stands for Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. The Houston regional conference, on October 22, was fantastic!

The Joan Lowery Nixon Award was named for one of Houston’s best-loved writers of books for children and young adults. Joan Lowery Nixon wrote more than 140 books — historical fiction and mysteries for kids of all ages (including adults). The one I loved best was The Kidnapping of Christina Lattimore.

Cover Reveal!

celia-cover-8-5-x-5-5-72dpiI’m so happy to announce the new cover for CELIA AND THE WOLF is finally finished. Isn’t it brilliant? And scary? I think Middle Grade readers will enjoy it as much as the five-star story inside.

(Check out the great reviews HERE.)

And it’s just in time for Halloween!

For those of you who haven’t read the story yet, a terrible villain is planning something truly awful for the night of All Hallow’s Eve. Celia and her werewolf friend, Remy, must find a way to stop him before he destroys Remy’s family.

The paperback version of CELIA AND THE WOLF is available to order at Amazon and other booksellers, such as Barnes and Noble. It’s also available as an e-book for Kindle and Nook.

Presentation at Bay Area Writers League

I was so happy to be invited back for the third time to B.A.W.L. (don’t you just love that acronym?), the Bay Area Writers League. Note: this isn’t the San Francisco Bay Area but the Galveston Bay Area, a lot further south and much hotter!)

B.A.W.L. speaking 7-16

It’s a great group of diverse writers — scifi, horror, history, memoir, romance and thriller, published and just beginning.

On July 28, I talked to them about The Short of It–Synopsis, Query, Blurb and Pitch.

Queries sent!

So happy to say I’ve started sending out agent queries for A MIDSUMMER’S NIGHTMARE,  an Elizabethan fantasy for middle grade.


Next step— waiting…. waiting… waiting…

Have you been to Riveted?

Riveted is a new website/booksite/community from Simon and Schuster. Riveted is described as

an online community for anyone that loves (or, dare we say, is addicted to?) young adult fiction!

Here at Riveted, you’re able to discover new YA reads, read books for free on your computer, tablet, or phone, get a behind the scenes look at your favorite books, discuss your favorites with the community, share your ideas and contribute to the site, as well as enter to win new and upcoming YA releases, and more. It’s free to join and participate!

– See more at:

I also signed up to get Simon and Schuster’s email newsletter (you can sign up HERE). Today’s issue had this amazing announcement:

Free Reads Coming Up On Riveted

Zeroes  Rot & Ruin  Loser/Queen  Zombies vs. Unicorn

Free reads (excerpts and even FULL BOOKS) can be found at


2016 Crystal Kite Awards Announced

Here is an amazing list of books for kids–every one of them a winner. They’d make a great summer reading list, don’t you think?

Writing and Illustrating

The Winners of the 2016 Crystal Kite Member Choice Awards:

Congratulations to all this year’s winners and my friends:
Laurie Wallmark, April Chu, Kat Yeh, Elisa Wheeler, and Don Tate.

Atlantic (Pennsylvania/Delaware/New Jersey/Wash DC/Virginia/West Virginia/Maryland)

Ada cover 72dpi

Laurie Wallmarkillustrated by April Chu  Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine (Creston Books)

New YorkTwinkie Pie

Kat Yeh – The Truth About Twinkie Pie (Little, Brown)

Midwest (Minnesota/Iowa/Nebraska/Wisconsin/Illinois/Michigan/Indiana/Ohio)

Pat Zietlow Miller

Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler – Wherever You Go (Little, Brown)


Don Tate

Don Tate Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton (Peachtree Publishers)

Australia/New Zealand

Frane Lessac 

Frané LessacA is for Australia (Walker Books Australia) and

Peter Carnavas Blue Whale Blues (New Frontier Publishing/Scholastic Australia)


Stacey Lee

Stacey Lee – Under a Painted Sky (Penguin BFYR)


Margriet Ruurs

Margriet Ruurs – A Brush Full of Colour (Pajama Press)

International Other

Angela Cerrito

Angela Cerrito – The Safest Lie (Holiday…

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I think I’m back…

In mid-March, I had major surgery on my ankle. They replaced a dead bone (!) and then fused the joint with a rod (about 8-inches long!) that goes from the bottom of my foot up into the hollow center of the tibia. There are two stabilizing pins, too. Yes, it’s as bad as it sounds.


Surgical anaesthesia makes me stupid. When that and the pain medication began to wear off, I realized my cast was so tight my toes turned dark whenever they weren’t level with my heart. By late in every day, the cast was really pinching hard. It was so uncomfortable, I was only getting between two and five hours of sleep a night. (Did I mention I refuse to take pain meds unless absolutely necessary.) This lasted for a month until the cast came off. Needless to say, lack of sleep makes me stupid, too.

I’m happy to say the cast came off on Monday, I’m actually walking gingerly with crutches and a big Star-Wars-style boot, I’m getting 7 hours or more of sleep, and I’m not feeling as cloudy and confused. Yay!

However, readers of my blog,, may have noticed something odd about my first post-surgery post. It was another in my Monday Tips from Agents and Editors series — but I posted it on Wednesday. Ah well, you’ll forgive me, won’t you?

It’s World Book Day and I’m Updating my TBR list

I’m an eclectic reader. My paper and e-collection holds picture books, middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction as well as nonfiction.

I’m also a TBR glutton. My kindle has almost 400 titles on it and most of them have been read at least once. But periodically, I have to go through and move all the ones I bought but forgot to read up to the front. Right now, my TBR list includes one paperback — One for the Money, the first book in Janet Evanovich’s famous mystery series. The rest of the list is on my Kindle and includes

  • Greenglass House by Kate Milford
  • The Queen’s Poisoner by Jeff wheeler
  • Please Don’t Tell my Parents I Blew Up the Moon by Richard Roberts
  • A Plague of Unicorns by Jane Yolen
  • The Drowning Eyes by Emily Foster
  • Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran
  • The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands
  • Serpent by Clive Cussler
  • Crouching Tiger, Forbidden Vampire by Kerrelynn Sparks (adult romance)

My latest 5-star reads?

  • Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz (warning: this one’s INTENSE!)
  • When Falcons Fall by C. S. Harris
  • Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan
  • The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Happy World Book Day! What’s on your TBR list?



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