Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Marcus Mender is OUT!

I'm so thrilled that the second book of the Troubled Tween Trilogy is out and for sale!

Marcus Mender can fix anything just by holding it. But now, he can’t stop! Like King Midas and the golden touch, everything becomes new and perfect in Marcus’s hands.

Before he can control his new power, the Troubled Tweens are sent to South America on a magical mission: to recover a rare magnetized lodestone before the Loki, the magic thieves, use it for their own selfish purpose.

But the lodestone's magnetic field causes a reversal between positive and negative, turning the Loki into heroes and the Troubled Tweens into villains out to steal more power. Only Marcus's ability to fix the lodestone can save them, but with the switch of good and evil, Marcus will have to struggle to make the right choice.

See it on Amazon.

See it on Barnes and Noble.

The paperback version will be out in early December.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Evolution of a book cover

We've been having fun over here trying to figure out how to depict the magic of Marcus Mender on his book cover.

We won't be releasing the real cover for a while, but thought you might get a giggle at looking at all the "wrong" versions we created along the way.

According to my kids, these covers looked like

  1. A bag of flour exploded
  2. A dandelion invasion
  3. Spiderman with dancing ribbons
  4. Attack of the sparkles
We finally got it right and we can't wait to show you!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cover photo shoot for next TT books coming!

I'm so excited that we're about to shoot the covers for Marcus Mender, the second book in the Troubled Tween trilogy, and Elektra Chaos, the third book. We'll also be doing a special cover featuring Jinnie, Marcus, and Elektra together for some exciting things that will happen once all three books are done.

Savvy readers may be thinking--hey! I thought the Troubled Tween Twins would be the third book!

Yes, the series has changed. After outlining the TTT book, I realized the themes in it had moved into young adult. So the middle grade trilogy will be Jinnie, Marcus, and Elektra.

And if Elektra Chaos sounds more Loki than Troubled Tween, you are right! Some crazy stuff happens in Marcus Mender, including a reversal of magnetic polarity on the earth that causes the good guys to go bad and the bad guys to turn good!

Yup, you're going to be cheering for Bruscilla.

I'll be talking more about Marcus Mender as we lead up to his release day on Nov. 12. Hopefully we'll have images to share soon! I've seen pictures of the boy who will portray Marcus--and he's perfect!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A review of Jinnie Wishmaker from a 13-year-old

Over at It's Raining Books, the teen daughter of the blogger wrote a review of Jinnie Wishmaker! Here's an excerpt:

I really enjoyed reading about how the different people in Jinnie's school learn to work together to defend Jinnie from the evil forces trying to steal her power. It really showed how friendship and teamwork should be. The unique group of people who made up The Troubled Tweens was interesting and I can't wait to see what happens to them next.

They also published Five Things You'd Never Guess about Me! I hate ice cream. You can learn why! And the ghost I worked with! And my thing with esclators. And more!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Lovely review of Jinnie plus WIN stuff!

Over at Me and Reading, Inga Kupp-Silberg gave the most lovely review of Jinnie Wishmaker!

Here's an excerpt of the review:

I think author did a wonderful job with capturing the age of the kids! It was humorous, filled with magic and it was on spot for the kids of 9-11 years of age. It touched the fight between the good and the evil and Jinnie's story was a very good start for the series!

She also posted one of my favorite excerpts from the book, when Jinnie discovers the one true wish of her aunt.

Plus, she had a guest post by me on how I create characters.

It's a Jinnie-palooza! Go see it and win mood rings or the Balloon Animal Book and Pump Kit by commenting!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

From skeptic to believer in MAGIC!

Over on Bunny's Reviews, I get a chance to talk about how I did not believe in magic whatsoever until my two daughters insisted I write a magical book. By the time Jinnie Wishmaker was done, I had made a complete turnaround!

Read the story!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

On Thor and Fried Turtle Shells (and Phineas and chocolate)

This may be the strangest interview I've ever done. Silly and irreverent and, did I say silly?

But when Words are Magic asked the questions, I had to give the answers! Go check out the title I would give the the story of my life, and which dead guy I'd have dinner with.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Why Jinnie Wishmaker almost didn't get written!

I have a guest post over at Coffee Addicted Writer about the year 2007 and how I wound up writing Jinnie after giving up on two other books.

The great people over at Coffee Addicted Writer are giving away mood rings to random lucky commenters, plus everyone gets a chance to win the How to Make Balloon Animals book, pump, and balloon kit!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Jinnie Wishmaker Blog Tour is coming!

I'm so excited!

Ten blogs in two weeks--and all stops will have give aways and guest posts and crazy interviews with ridiculous answers! (Fried turtle shells--no, I don't eat them! ICKY!  Phineas and Ferb, why yes, yes I HAVE seen every episode ten times. SHHH!!! I'm a self-respecting grown up! With, you know, pink hair...)

Here are the stops!

June 18:  Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer
June 19:  Books Are Magic
June 20:  Books Reviewed by Bunny
June 21:  Writers and Authors
June 22:  Amy's Book World
June 25:  Me and Reading
June 26:  Welcome to My World of Dreams
June 27:  It's Raining Books
June 28:  Sandra Cox
June 29: Sweet Southern Home

Make sure you stop by and see them!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Dust Bunnies in the wild -- Kindergarten wild!

This morning I was walking Elizabeth to the bus when a little girl chased me down to say, "I colored my bunny!"

I was about to nod politely in the way you do when children say random things, when she unzipped her backpack to show me my own character, Mel, delightfully rainbow'd and eyelash'd. Obviously this child had attended my author visit the day before for Dust Bunnies: Secret Agents.

Before Elizabeth could spill the beans that Mel was a tough bunny and would be unhappy in all that crayon mascara, I had her pull out her phone and snap a shot of the girl's colorful depiction of my bunny. What a great start to the day!

I've been lucky to read Dust Bunnies: Secret Agents to four kindergarten classes over three days. We had tons of fun talking about where dust bunnies hide, and what happens when our toys go missing and who might have taken them.

We also talked about how old myths used to explain why the sun rose and set, and how stories like Dust Bunnies are like new myths to explain things like where our socks go!

I still have many more classrooms to go, plus the official Dust Bunnies launch will be open to the public at the super cool baby store in Round Rock called Baby Earth on Thursday, May 10 just after school at 3:30 p.m. I feel very lucky and blessed this week!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Dust Bunnies have arrived!

After two years of development, Dust Bunnies: Secret Agents is available on the iPad and iPhone/iTouch!

I have to think hard now to remember the night in 2010 that I sat at the dinner table with my daughters and we brainstormed a story to match the exciting app design by the producers at Polycot Labs. They wanted something where the main character could be changed to look like the child who was reading the story, and the names in both the captions and the audio would be theirs!

I knew that the side kicks would be important since the hero would change, and we decided that the Dust Bunnies living under the bed would be ideal. It was my then-seven-year-old Elizabeth who decided the story would be more exciting if the bunnies were secret agents!

The story has evolved through time, based on the art, the audio, and the flow of the story. Each panel had to be drawn with multiple overlays for children who were a boy or a girl, with one of four different hair colors or skin shades. I had to record several lines of the story more than 400 times to read off the most popular boy and girls names.

And finally it's here!

Watch the story trailer! And if you like it, pick up a copy in iTunes store. And leave a comment  in the store! We love comments! Plus, the Dust Bunnies have their own Facebook pages and love to talk to fans. Go leave a comment there and they'll get back to you!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Magical Blog Tour Begins in June!

I just bought over 100 mood rings to give away during the amazing fantastical Jinnie Wishmaker blog tour that will be happening in June to celebrate the release of the hardcover edition for libraries.

Many of the rings will be given away on blog stops during the summer, but I'll also be giving some away here! Stay tuned for those give aways--everyone will get one for themselves and one for a friend!

I so love mood rings! Look what I ordered!

Rhinestone-studded shapes for girls!

And bands with dolphins on them for boys or girls!

And if your ring needs a guide--Jinnie Wishmaker has all the answers for what the colors mean:


I can't wait!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Stick figure cover challenge

I have a wonderful time over on the Kindle Boards, where authors of many amazing ebooks gather to talk shop and be supportive.

One of our members, in poking fun at some of the really terrible covers in the world, challenged us to make stick-figure versions of our book covers.

So naturally I had to make one for Jinnie.

I'm not going to link to the thread, since many of the covers are not necessarily kid-friendly. But grownups can do some Googling and find it. Hilarious.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Can I hug you Nook owners out there?

Jinnie Wishmaker has been in the top 50 books for 9-12 year olds for 10 days now! I got back from the holidays and checked on how she was doing at Barnes & Noble, and WOW!

Thank you so much for supporting Jinnie! I am hard at work on Marcus Mender now! I felt SO inspired by Hugo Cabret after seeing the movie adaptation of the novel (I loved both.) I can't wait for Marcus to sort out how he feels about being able to "fix" people as well as things. It will be quite the conflict for a boy who wishes his own life was different.