Friday, July 31, 2020

New YA Release- The Fergus

I've got a new release fresh off the press! The Fergus by Tori Welhouse. *I was notified that I had the age level wrong in my original post. This is not a middle-grade read, it is a YA 14+ read with just a little romance.

The Story-
In the mystical Highlands of Scotland, Rork, missing his beloved gran, wakes up with the ability to hear voices. And not just any voices. Fantastically Rork can hear voices of the dead, which lead him to a charismatic banshee and a colorful near-death survivor. The three are bound together in a time-tested banshee tradition with perhaps a side-goal or two. In the course of their adventures, they are pitched into an otherworld of before-death, after-death, and in-between-death.

The Author-
Tori Grant Welhouse is the winner of the Skyrocket Press 2019 Novel Writing Contest. She earned an MFA from Antioch University-International. She published a chapbook Canned with Finishing Line Press (2012), and her poems and reviews have appeared in many regional and online literary magazines. She is an active volunteer with Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets and lives in Green Bay. Herald the Fergus is her first novel. Early chapters earned an honorable mention at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Writers’ Institute (2012).

Check out her website here.

You're Invited! To the Facebook Launch Party August 6th at 4:30 Central Time. The author will be reading excerpts from the book and giving away prizes!

Buy it NOW- Amazon

Thursday, July 23, 2020

I just signed for a new book! Drained

I am so excited to announce that Skyrocket Press will be publishing my next middle grade fantasy, Drained! I’ll keep everyone up to date on the going ons, cover, pre-sale, book launch and blog tour. I love this book and can’t wait for you to read it. Here is the announcement from Skyrocket Press. 


Eighth-grader Alysse Norton wants two things, to win Dancer of the Year at Nationals, and to steal Jeremy Stewart’s heart away from his girlfriend Brigitte. Things are going well until strange events begin interrupting Aly’s life. In biology class, she brings a dead frog back to life. At a school football game, she saves Jeremy from a deadly zombie bite, and during ballet class she witnesses her teacher unfurl fairy wings.

 If that wasn’t strange enough, a new math teacher, Mr. Grimly, a flesh-eating goblin in human form, begins sucking the life force from Aly’s body, leaving her drained and dizzy every day after class, and unable to dance.

 Faced with the destruction of her dreams, Aly fights back. She travels with her bratty younger sister Kat and their fairy ballet teacher, Tatiana, into the realm of the fey, a place where humans are despised and treated like animals. While there, Aly learns about her own fairy heritage, fights for human rights, and steals a magical dagger for killing goblins. Once back at home, Aly continues her bid to win Jeremy, bring the battle to Mr. Grimly, and do it all before Nationals.

Friday, July 17, 2020

New YA! Silent Screams by Zachary Ryan

Check out this new YA!
Silent Screams by Zachary Ryan

The Book-
Sometimes, our silence is louder than words.

For a group of friends, one mistake changed the course of their lives forever.
In the aftermath of a tragic school shooting, the group must find their own form of justice and a way to begin healing from a wound that just won’t stop hurting.
For them, the lines were drawn.
 Right and wrong became blurred.
Friends became enemies.
Told from the perspective of four friends, we learn how one student’s revenge reigned terror over a school and a community-- causing secrets to unfold and relationships to be tested. 

A compelling and powerful story about a school shooting. A must-read.
Topics- #Crime   #Schoolshooting   #Violence   #LGBTQ 

The Author-
Zachary Ryan grew up in a black-and-white box in Maryland, before moving to Chicago to start a new life. There, he found that he was accepted for his misfit status--and learned that it's perfectly normal to spend your twenties feeling lost and confused.

Buy it Now- Amazon

Monday, July 13, 2020

Middle-Grade Spotlight- The Case of the Covid Crisis by Pendred Noyce

Welcome to Middle-Grade Monday! Are your kids asking questions about the pandemic? Are they asking what the weird word Covid means? Then I've got a book for you! The Case of the Covid Crisis by Pendred Noyce.

The Book-
 If you have a middle-grade reader that loves adventure and is curious about science introduce them to Mae and Clinton and The Case of the Covid Crisis. 
These two are special recruits of the Galactic Academy of Science and they travel through space and time to discover the science and math behind the pandemic. It helps kids understand the current crisis and how it fits in with past epidemics….as well as demonstrating how much you can do even in these very trying times. An empowering and fun adventure for all kids large or small.

The Author-
Pendred Noyce 
Penny grew up in Silicon Valley before studying biochemistry at Harvard and medicine at Stanford. She has received recognition and numerous awards for her compelling body of work for young readers, particularly inspiring women in science, including Magnificent Minds, Remarkable Minds, Inventors, Makers, Barrier Breakers, Mosquitoes Don’t Bite Me, Lost in Lexicon, Ice Castle, and The Beechwood Flute. Penny challenges readers to grapple with issues related to women in science and history, identity and adolescence, resilience, family, and more. She is a powerful storyteller and an important voice in literature for children, teens & young adults.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

And the Winner is...

Congrats to Danielle H. You won the copy of Amelia Six.

Monday, June 29, 2020

What Do Black Holes Eat for Dinner? And Other Silly, Yet Totally Smart, Questions About Space Interviews with authors Coppen and Tremblay

Kids are going to love this book! What Do Black Holes Eat for Dinner? And Other Silly, Yet Totally Smart, Questions About Space by Katie Coppens and Dr. Grant Tremblay. On sale this Wednesday, July 1st.

The Book-

Space facts from an astrophysicist, brought down to earth by a middle school teacher—these are answers to kids' real, wacky, smart questions. Light, space, stars, galaxies, planets, and more, all explained with accuracy and humor, and accompanied by images from the Chandra X-ray Observatory

The Authors-
Katie Coppens- Katie Coppens is a middle school teacher. She has taught for 18 years, ranging from a 3rd grade self-contained class to high school biology while volunteering in Tanzania. Her goal is to get kids curious and excited about learning! You can follow her on Twitter @Katie_Coppens or visit to learn more about her books.

Dr. Grant Tremblay-  is an astrophysicist at Harvard!

The Interviews- Check these answers out.
Dr. Grant Tremblay's answers:
1. Tell me why you love science?

I love science because I get to be wrong about the Universe in an official, professional capacity. Why "wrong"? Because science is never about being smart, or "right". It's about understanding what you don't understand, and about (hopefully) becoming gradually less wrong over time. The failure of a hypothesis or the collapse of a theory is one of the great engines of progress in our understanding of the Universe.

2. What is your favorite area of study?

I love everything to do with Galaxies - vast collections of hundreds of billions of stars (and even more planets!) - that sit within giant, million light year-wide baths of gas we call the "circumgalactic medium". That's a fancy term for a really, really big cloud that powers a lot of galaxy-scale weather. That's right, galaxies sit within clouds that can "rain" just like the clouds we find in the sky on Earth ... except that the "raindrops" are giant cold gas blobs that are a million times more massive than our Sun.

3. Can you tell me what and where the Chandra x-ray Observatory is?

The Chandra X-ray Observatory is one of the most powerful telescopes in all of history. It's a "space telescope", meaning it's actually a tour-bus-sized satellite that we launched into space on July 23, 1999. It was the largest and heaviest satellite ever launched by the Space Shuttle, and the third of NASA's so-called "Great Observatories" whose mission is to better understand the origin, fate, and nature of the Universe. Chandra observes very high energy light, called "X-rays", that shine from the most energetic regions of the cosmos, including the nurseries of baby stars and doomed gas spiraling toward black holes. You can see me talking more about Chandra here!

4. What made you want to turn your science skills to book writing?

As a kid, I was obsessed with space. Falling asleep at night, I would dream that my bed was an interstellar starship traveling beyond the edge of our galaxy. Part of this obsession was fueled by wonderful books about space science written for young people like me. You are never too young to become a scientist, and never too young to ask important and profound questions about the Universe and our place within it. I co-wrote this book with Katie because, at least in some small way, I wanted to help celebrate and power a young person's love of science.

Katie Coppens' Answers:

1. Tell me why you love science? 
Science is about being curious and a better understanding of the world around you (and beyond!).  Science is everything from psychology to ecology to astrophysics! Teaching science to kids, I can see them make connections between concepts and their own real-life experiences. I always tell my students that the more I learn, the more questions I have!

2. What is your favorite area of study?
 Working on this book taught me so much about the Universe and I can't stop thinking about the endless possibilities of space. My background is in environmental sciences and that was my area of study (my masters degree is in teaching with a focus in environmental sciences). Most of the books I read are about Earth and efforts people can take to reduce their carbon footprint. Much of my teaching focuses on geology and Earth’s history, which has become my passion. My first book for kids was “Geology is a Piece of Cake,” which teaches concepts in geology, ranging from rocks to fossils to tectonic plates, through the analogy of cake and cake recipes.

3. What made you want to turn your science skills to book writing? 
Grant and I wanted to take concepts about space and write them in a way that kids have fun while learning. Many of the questions in the book came from my students. I asked them to think about what if scenarios and as many out of the box questions as they could. We decided to write the book like a conversation between the reader and authors, and this creates a fun flow of questions and answers. The answers lead to more questions and this pattern continues on throughout the book.

4. Do you have plans for another kid's book? 
I’m always brainstorming ideas and get much inspiration from my own children and my students. I’ve written six children’s books and I’ve learned it’s the right book concept when I can’t stop thinking about it. I’d like my next book to be about climate change and to write it in a way that kids can understand it and feel motivated to take action.


Friday, June 26, 2020

Giveaway! New Middle Grade Fun! Check out The Amelia Six by Kristin L. Gray

Check out this new release Middle Grade- The Amelia Six by Kristin L. Gray. On sale June 30! The publisher is giving away one copy! To enter fill out the rafflecopter form below.
The Book-
Amelia Ashford—Millie to her friends (if she had any)—feels beyond lucky to be awarded the once in a lifetime opportunity to spend the night at Amelia Earhart’s childhood home. But when Amelia’s famous flight goggles disappear, everyone in the house is a suspect. Fingers are pointed in all directions, and then someone falls strangely ill.
With a blizzard raging outside, Millie and the five other girls staying at the Earhart house—all nominated for this opportunity because of their exemplary curiosity and creativity in STEM—band together to find the culprit. It’s up to the Amelia Six to return the goggles to their rightful place. Or the next body to collapse could be one of theirs.

The Author- Kristin L. Gray
Kristin is the author of VILONIA BEEBE TAKES CHARGE, a 2018 Bank Street Best Children's Book. She lives in Arkansas with her family, two dogs, one cat, one fish, and an alert bearded dragon, who is clearly NOT a dragon as he has never once breathed fire. KOALA IS NOT A BEAR is her first picture book. Visit her at

The Questions-

What made you want to write a book about Amelia Earhart?

 Like a lot of young girls, I first learned about Amelia Earhart in grade school. But the mystery surrounding her disappearance has captured the world’s attention now for nearly one-hundred years.

 But there is much more to Amelia than her trailblazing historic flights and fight for women’s rights. A line in The Amelia Six says, “people are like cake; they have layers.” This holds true for Amelia. She was an author and poet, an editor at Cosmopolitan, a seamstress and designer of women’s wear with a line of luggage in department stores. She was one of the very first celebrities to receive corporate sponsors. She taught at Purdue University, consulted for Hollywood, worked with immigrant children in Boston, was a nurse’s aid, a pre-med major, and at one time, she drove a gravel truck. There was nothing she would not do or try, if she put her mind to it. So when I visited her grandparents’ home on the bluff in Atchison, Kansas, where she spent much of her childhood, my mild interest became fascination, and a cozy mystery was born.

 What was your journey to publication like?

 I spent several years studying, reading, and writing picture books while my children were young. As luck would have it, though, my longer work was picked up first.

I took the opening pages of Vilonia Beebe Takes Charge, what would become my debut middle-grade novel, to two writing conferences for feedback. One was a local SCBWI conference, and the other was the Andrea Brown Literary Agency’s Big Sur Writing Conference set in beautiful Big Sur, California. There, I was lucky enough to be assigned to Caryn Wiseman’s roundtable. Caryn simply got Vilonia’s heart and humor from those early pages. That was a huge boost to me as a writer, to have an industry professional connect with my work. I returned home and finished drafting. Thankfully, Caryn still loved the manuscript a WHOLE YEAR later and—joy—connected to a couple of my picture book texts. To say I was over the moon is an understatement.

So much of publishing is waiting and more waiting, revising and more revising. This is why it’s a good idea to have projects in various stages, so while you are waiting on notes for one project, you are also drafting something new. I’m still finding this balance, and not everything I write works out or finds a publishing home. But the longer I’m on this journey, the more I realize that is part of it, too. I’m thrilled The Amelia Six wound up with the same team who published Vilonia Beebe.