Gwendolyn Hooks Shines a Light on an Unsung Hero – Author Interview and Book Giveaway!

I have the pleasure of knowing Gwendolyn Hooks as part of our close-knit tribe of SCBWI Oklahoma members. She works tirelessly to perfect her craft until her work shines, and she has such a beautiful soul. All of which comes through in her writing. I just love her.

The road to publication for her latest book, TINY STITCHES: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas, was a long one. Some of us who have witnessed the progress of this journey are so thrilled to see this beautiful story finally come to light.

One lucky reader will win a signed copy! So stay tuned!

About Gwen

She was born in Savannah, Georgia. Her father was in the Air Force, so Gwen and her family moved a lot when she was a child. Her first stop in every new city was the local library where she got her new library card. Gwen now lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with her husband and their three children.

She is the author of twenty published books, including her popular Pet Club series. Two of her Scholastic early readers, The Mystery of the Missing Dog and Three’s A Crowd, sold over 100,000 copies each. She’s also written nonfiction picture books, including Arctic Appetizers: Studying Food Webs in the Arctic.

Tiny Stitches – The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas  illustrated by Coretta Scott King Honor Award winner Colin Bootman (Lee & Low Books 2016) is her first picture book biography

Gwendolyn blogs on The Brown Bookshelf to push awareness of the myriad of African American voices writing and illustrating for young readers. The American Library Association selected The Brown Bookshelf as a Great Website for Kids.

 

Before the interview, let’s learn more about Gwen’s latest book:

TinyStitches_jkt_cover_smallTINY STITCHES: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas written by Gwendolyn Hooks illustrated by Colin Bootman

Release Date: May 15, 2016

Publisher: Lee & Low Books

Genres: Picture Book
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Plot Summary:

Vivien Thomas’s greatest dream was to attend college to study medicine. But after the stock market crashed in 1929, Vivien lost all his savings. Then he heard about a job opening at the Vanderbilt University medical school under the supervision of Dr. Alfred Blalock. Vivien knew that the all-white school would never admit him as a student, but he hoped working there meant he was getting closer to his dream.

As Dr. Blalock’s research assistant, Vivien learned surgical techniques. In 1943, Vivien was asked to help Dr. Helen Taussig find a cure for children with a specific heart defect. After months of experimenting, Vivien developed a procedure that was used for the first successful open-heart surgery on a child. Afterward, Dr. Blalock and Dr. Taussig announced their innovative new surgical technique, the Blalock-Taussig shunt. Vivien’s name did not appear in the report.

Overcoming racism and resistance from his colleagues, Vivien ushered in a new era of medicine—children’s heart surgery. This book is the compelling story of this incredible pioneer in medicine.


This book has already garnered rave reviews:

Booklist STAR review

“It is the work Thomas achieved, however, in spite of these enormous challenges, that will pique reader interest as they learn about his design of tiny operating tools and his role guiding surgeons through neonatal operations. Bootman’s lifelike watercolor illustrations beautifully and vividly evoke the carpentry shop, research labs, and the auditorium where, years later, Thomas was finally honored for his work and appointed to the faculty at Johns Hopkins.”

Kirkus

“. . . a rousing tribute to a man unjustly forgotten.”

 

I can’t wait to read this book! And the illustrations are just gorgeous.

 

The Interview

Gwen Hooks Head ShotValerie Lawson: What inspired you to tell the story of Vivien Thomas?

Gwendolyn Hooks: Thank goodness I have generous and talented writer friends and Anna Myers fits into that category. She called one night and in an explosive voice she said, “I just watched a movie about the man who saved my grandson’s life!”

Whaaat? Was all I could sputter.

The movie, Something the Lord Made, was the story of Vivien Thomas. Anna ended the conversation with, “You need to write a children’s book about him.” I watched the movie, too—several times. I kept thinking, why didn’t I know about him. There are probably plenty of kids who don’t know his story. After a lot of encouragement from Anna, I took on the project and I am so glad she called me that night!

VL: What a gift! And maybe a pretty big challenge. Good thing she knew you were up for it.

Tell us about the creative process of bringing this story to life. How was it different from your previous books.

GH: The creative process was extremely demanding for me. The beautiful phrases in my head did not magically appear on my computer screen. I have a stack of drafts about two feet high. I read other biographies and marveled at how the writing seemed so effortless. I worried what an illustrator would say after reading my manuscript. “Seriously. You expect me to illustrate this?” I doubted every step I took. But I did not give up. I kept reading picture book biographies and read everything I could find about how to write them.

When I write early readers, I always feel I can do it. I can visualize the whole book in my mind. With Tiny Stitches, it was a long time before I could see it. Before I could feel it. But I kept trying. I wanted to succeed. I couldn’t let Anna down. Or myself.

I don’t know what Colin Bootman thought when he first read my manuscript, but I’m so glad he accepted the project. I was excited when my editor told me he would be the illustrator. He’s very talented and his books are gorgeous. Colin won a Coretta Scott King Honor award, so he’s got talent! I think he really brought my words to life.

 

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VL: You didn’t give up. Exactly. And we’re so glad you kept trying. What a beautiful book!

What was the most surprising thing you learned while writing this book?

GH: It took six years from idea to publication. During that time, I learned that I have a patience-gene and a determination-gene. I would finish it and find an agent and an editor who believed in it as much as I did. I had the encouragement of my family, friends, and critique partners.

And I had Vivien Thomas. A few years ago, I traveled to Baltimore and had a chance to see Vivien’s portrait that hangs directly across from Dr. Blalock’s in Johns Hopkins Hospital. I felt his energy. I felt his passion. He urged me to tell his story. And I did.

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VL: Ooooh! How inspiring! (That gave me chills.)

You’ve also written a series of Early Readers, the Pet Club series, did you ever have a clubhouse or a secret place of your own when you were a kid?

GH: In 3rd grade, my friends and I attempted to build a fort during recess. The school was next to a wooded area and every day, we added branches and anything else we could find. I don’t think we ever finished it. But one day, I took off my jacket so I could work better. Well, I forgot to put it back on and didn’t remember it until I got on the bus. I was a nervous wreck riding home. I knew my mother’s first words would be, “Where is your jacket?”

Somehow, I got to my bedroom and out the house the next morning before she had time to think about it. I jumped off the bus, ran to our fort, and found my jacket. I never forgot my jacket again. I never built or half-built a fort again either.

VL: Kids always sweat their parents’ reactions, don’t they? My leg could be broken from jumping out of a tree, but I’d be more worried about, “Did I rip my new pants? Mom’s gonna kill me!” I wish I could’ve seen that fort. Sounded pretty cool. 

What was the most embarrassing thing you experienced?

GH: I still remember it like it was yesterday. I had to present a math lesson in one of my college education classes. I practiced it until it was perfect. But when I stood in front of the class with all those eyes staring at me, I blanked out. It was as if my brain had disappeared. Evaporated. Vanished. Finally, the instructor suggested I present at our next class. I slunk back to my seat. I have never forgotten that.

VL: Wow. That is truly awful. I think I’ve had nightmares of that happening.  

What was the most memorable adventure you had with your family?

GH: My two sisters who are also my best friends and I had a fantastic time on our trip to Belgium. One sister is adamant about luggage. We were restricted to one carry-on bag and she sent instructions on how to pack. No waiting for luggage. No crying over lost bags. Plus you must be able to handle your bag without help. Apparently, my other sister forgot that part. When we arrived in Brussels, we took a train to the car rental agency. The forgetful sister couldn’t get her luggage situated and we had to stay on the train until the next stop. So we decided to walk to the rental agency instead of waiting for another train.

It wasn’t as close as we thought and we were not happy with sister #2. As the luggage obsessed sister was signing the rental papers, she realized she had not specified automatic transmission when she reserved the car and there weren’t any available. There was a little eye-rolling from the luggage challenged sister because the luggage obsessed sister is the only one who could drive a stick shift. I’m the middle sister and peace maker so I volunteered to serve as navigator. Which turned out okay except for a few instances of driving in circles multiple times in circle intersections. It was hard to stop gawking and look at street signs.

We toured buildings that were centuries old. We ate chocolate and more chocolate. Then we took side trips to Bruges and Antwerp. Bruges was a fairy tale city with live chickens for sale in the market square. At a restaurant, I ordered a ham dish that appeared in front of me as a huge ham hock in a soup bowl. It was delicious! In Antwerp we visited the diamond center. I was blinded with all the glitter. Then it was time to drive back to Brussels and fly home. I loved that trip!

VL: That certainly was memorable! How fantastic!

What’s been your favorite book to read/book you’ve been most excited about over the past year? 

GH: I can’t just pick one.

I met Christina Gonzalez at the Nevada Reading Week conference in Reno. She gave me a copy of her The Red Umbrella, so of course I had to read it. It’s a great book set in Cuba. I love reading about other cultures and countries.

Recently, I read Thunder Boy by Sherman Alexie and illustrated by Yuyi Morales. It’s a beautiful picture book with a fun, but powerful message about the importance of a name.

The other day, I complained to a friend that I wanted to do a better job with setting. She suggested I read The Chicken Chasing Queen of Lamar County written by Janice N. Harrington and illustrated by Shelley Jackson. Janice does a fabulous job of showing setting through her language. I will probably read it 10 more times before I return it to the library.

I read two adult nonfiction books over the last year that I really enjoyed for different reasons.

The Superhuman Mind: Free the Genius in Your Brain by Berit Brogaard and Kristian Marlow. Who doesn’t want to free their genius!

Gwen and author pic
Gwen with author of THE WARMTH OF OTHER SUNS, Isabel Wilkerson

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson. Not only was it an epic story, the book was epic at 622 pages! But I love history and I learned so much about the migration of African Americans from the deep south to the north and west. I also liked Wilkerson’s narrative nonfiction style.

To-Be-Read: Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. She feels that exceptional achievement is a result of passion and persistence and not genius or talent. That means I can achieve something exceptional because I’m passionate about books and writing and I can be persistent when I set my mind on it.

VL: Ha! You’re so like me! I can never pick just one book EVER! And my nightstand has about ten books covering it right now. Thanks for some excellent reading suggestions.

What would your dream assignment be? What would you most like to write about?

GH: I’d love to have an all-expense paid assignment with a six-figure advance that required traveling to another country for research. One of my favorite television shows is Mysteries at the Museum. One Saturday, while eating breakfast, I watched an episode about Sir William Henry Perkins. He was an English chemist who accidently discovered a purple dye in 1856. Up until that time only royalty and the rich could afford purple clothes. Soon all the ladies were strutting around town in purple frocks. And since I love purple, it only makes sense for me to visit England and work on that project.

VL: Now that’s an excellent dream assignment! And of course you’ll need a co-writer to help you…carry your luggage. I’m volunteering now.

Tell us what’s coming up next for you. What are you currently working on? 

GH: I wrote two early readers for Lee & Low’s Confetti Kids series. Block Party and Music Time are scheduled for 2017. Pearson Educational UK is publishing a chapter book next year. And I’m writing another early reader that I can’t talk about yet-top secret. I will say, it’s something I’ve always been interested in, but I see a challenge ahead making it young-kid-friendly.

VL: How exciting! And I love top secret projects. We know you’ll be up for the challenge 🙂  

Thank you so much for sharing your time with us, Gwen. Always a pleasure.

**As an added bonus for those in the local area, Gwen will be hosting a book release party on June 9th, in Oklahoma City. The event will be from 6-9pm at the Chi Gallery.

Please come! It will be a fun event!

 

The Giveaway

Gwen is giving away a SIGNED COPY of her new book TINY STITCHES to one lucky reader of this blog!

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To enter, all you have to do is enter below!

ENTER HERE!!!  ➤➤➤  Gwendolyn Hook’s Rafflecopter giveaway

(If you really, really want to enter, but don’t want to use the Rafflecopter feature, feel free to post a comment below as your entry, and I’ll manually add you to the giveaway.)

Winner will be selected on June 15th.

CONGRATULATIONS TO BARBARA LOWELL!

SHE’S THE WINNER OF THE SIGNED COPY OF TINY STITCHES!

Learn more about Gwendolyn Hooks here.

Follow her on Twitter here.

Follow her on Facebook here.

Follow the Brown Bookshelf blog here.

 

 

PARASITE Release Day

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My dear friend K.T. Hanna celebrates the release of her final book in her Domino Project series, today. As a special treat, she’s giving some behind the scenes insight into her characters and this outstanding series.

First, let’s learn more about her newest book!

 

PARASITE cover

PARASITE (The Domino Project #3) by K.T. Hanna

Published by: Amaranthine Press

Release Date: February 22, 2016

Genres: YA, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Amazon | Signed Copies from Watermark Books

Plot Summary:

With the Damascus closing in on the Exiled, Sai and Dom must put their grief and inner demons aside as they rush to free the people of the Protected Conglomerate from the influence of the psionic grid. 

Chipped and placed under house arrest with a guard, Bastian’s only hope lies in reaching his core to disrupt Deign’s ruthless plan. 

 Intent on putting a stop to the Damascus and the GNW’s reign, Dom discovers the true extent of the parasite within. Just when Sai thinks the Exiled have a chance, their greatest weapon turns on them. (From Goodreads.)

What an exciting series!  Recently, K.T. received some wonderful news when her first book, CHAMELEON, was reviewed by Kirkus.

“Hanna takes familiar sci-fi genre elements… and spins dystopian gold.” Kirkus Reviews

Can’t ask for much better than that. And now, to celebrate Parasite’s release, Chameleon and Hybrid are on sale for $0.99! 

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hybrid

 

 

 

 

Without further ado, let’s hear from K.T.

Guest Post

Thank you so much for having me. I wanted to tell people a little bit about Dom, and how The Domino Project books came to be.

It might surprise people who’ve read the books to know that Domino has always been my favorite character. These books originally started out as two completely different novels. One with a school that trained psionically gifted people to be assasins, and another set on a different world with a race of engineered beings called the Dominos.

The Domino Project is called that because when they were created it was in a sense a way to topple opposition. Make them fall like dominos.

In his own book, Dom was an alien engineered being that can totally meld with the shadows. A part of a larger faction of assassins and infiltrators, he malfunctioned and separated himself from his orders and the others like him to make his own way in the world.

Sai was his sidekick in these books and far different to what she is in Chameleon.

The other book, Jaded, was home to Aishke and Bastian. They were student and teacher, respectively, in a school where her abilities led to Bastian training her to take over his position of assassin. I still adore the first scene I wrote for that book.

When I came up with the idea to meld both books, I didn’t realize how amazing the world and characters would turn out. I’m so excited that people can read the whole trilogy now.

I hope everyone enjoys the conclusion.

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About K.T.

KT Hanna has a love for words so extreme, a single word can spark entire worlds.

Born in Australia, she met her husband in a computer game, moved to the U.S.A. and went into culture shock. Bonus? Not as many creatures specifically out to kill you.

When she’s not writing, she freelance edits for Chimera Editing, interns for a NYC Agency, and chases her daughter, husband, corgi, and cat. No, she doesn’t sleep. She is entirely powered by the number 2, caffeine, and beef jerky.

Note: Still searching for her Tardis

 

Author Links:

WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodreads

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The Giveaway

To celebrate the release of PARASITE, K.T. is holding a giveaway! The giveaway includes a Domino Project Swag Pack and a $10 Amazon gift card.

ENTER HERE!!!  ➤➤➤ a PARASITE Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners will be announced after March 4th.

YA Bounk Tour Button

Book Blitz Organized by:

YA Bound Book Tours

HYBRID Cover Reveal

I met K.T. Hanna a few years ago through mutual writing friends, and by participating in her #writemotivation project. I’ve since come to know and love her dearly. Not only is her brain dark and twisty when it comes to plotting, she’s just the right kind of nerdy – the extreme kind.

I had the pleasure of celebrating with her this past summer in her hometown of Wichita, Kansas,  along with a jovial gathering of family and friends, when she released the first book in the Domino Project series. What great fun! Now, I’m delighted to be participating in the cover reveal event for her second book in the series, HYBRID.

About K.T.

KT HannaKT Hanna has a love for words so extreme, a single word can spark entire worlds.

Born in Australia, she met her husband in a computer game, moved to the U.S.A. and went into culture shock. Bonus? Not as many creatures specifically out to kill you.

When she’s not writing, she freelance edits for Chimera Editing, interns for a NYC Agency, and chases her daughter, husband, corgi, and cat. No, she doesn’t sleep. She is entirely powered by the number 2, caffeine, and beef jerky.

Note: Still searching for her Tardis

About the Book

HYBRID (The Domino Project #2) is the sequel to CHAMELEON. It’s set in the wasteland of earth after a meteor shower causes ecological disaster, damages the atmosphere, and gives the gift of an alien parasite to the world. Book two furthers Sai, Bastian, and Dom’s journey in their fight to live free from GNW imposed rules.

As Sai recovers from her life-threatening injuries, she struggles to piece together her damaged relationship with Dom. He fights the parasite within, suddenly freed from the interference of the other Dominos in his head.

Inside Central, Bastian’s Shine dosing has become a dangerous dance. Enhanced security protocols and endless meetings have him on a tightrope, with little room to move without revealing himself.

When the GNW release the Damascus to begin their systemic hunt of the Exiled, the noose closes around the rebels and their allies. If they can’t disable the threat, the Exiled won’t be the Damascus’ only agenda. (Plot summary from Goodreads.)

Without further ado – here’s a teaser of the cover by the amazingly talented S.P. McConnell.

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Go see the full cover at YA Interrobang!

Isn’t it GORGEOUS!?!?!

Sit back and bask in this for a moment.

It’s available for pre-order on Kindle for $3.99 and will be available on November 10th, 2015!

Amazon Link

It will also be available in print via CreateSpace, Amazon, but best of all, the local indie store is being really supportive and already has it available for pre-order in print there!

Watermark Books

 

Haven’t read CHAMELEON? There’s still time to catch up!

Get it HERE!

 

About the Giveaway

Celebration!

To celebrate, we’re giving away a copy of books 1 & 2! With an Amazon e-card, and a SWAG pack!

Winners will be announced on Monday October 19th!

ENTER HERE!!!  ➤➤➤  a HYBRID Rafflecopter giveaway

Tammi Sauer ROARS into Fall – Author Interview and Book Giveaway!

I have come to know Tammi Sauer over the years through many OK SCBWI events, and I have been delighted to watch her publishing career grow. We’ve been plotting and planning for her to stop by for an interview for awhile now, but busy lives and crazy schedules – mostly hers – have prevented this. I mean, what’s gal to do when the mayor names a day after you? This year she has three books being published, with the latest one, ROAR!, releasing in no time at all on October 6th!

Busy, busy busy!

Somehow, we finally managed to align the planets so this bright and shiny Oklahoma star could come by for a visit to the blog.

We’ll get to see the fantastical, star-studded trailer for ROAR! a little later in this post.

And one lucky reader will win a signed copy! So stay tuned!

About Tammi

Tammi Sauer grew up on a farm in the vast metropolis of Victoria, Kansas, where she liked to play tag with the pigs in her cheerleading uniform when not embezzeling money from her siblings.

She worked as a teacher and library media specialist before turning to a life of crime beginning her career as a full-time picture book author, and going on tour with some funky dancing chickens. (I may be mixing up some of my facts a bit, but I like this version.)

She really is a picture book author and has actually sold 24 books to major publishing houses. In addition to winning awards, her books have gone on to do great things. MOSTLY MONSTERLY was selected for the 2012 Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program. ME WANT PET! was recently released in French which makes her feel extra fancy. And NUGGET AND FANG, along with Tammi herself, appears on the Spring 2015 Scholastic Book Fair DVD which is seen by millions kids across the nation.

Before we dive into the interview, let’s learn a little bit about Tammi’s latest book:

Roar coverROAR! by Tammi Sauer

Release Date: October 6, 2015

Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books

Genres: Picture Book
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Plot Summary:
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With scissors and tape a boy transforms himself into…a dragon! “ROAR!” he says. He is BIG. He is SCARY. Well, not really. When two dragons come over for a play date, what on earth will these three find to do together? The boy doesn’t have big teeth and he can’t breathe fire. He is just a boy. And the dragons can’t eat ice cream or do cartwheels. They are just dragons. Luckily, the dragons care more about what they all can do together, like make silly faces and do the funky monkey dance. What they really care about is being friends.
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That looks so awesome, I just want to dust off the old dragon costume (doesn’t everyone have one?) and stomp around the office.

The Interview

Tammi Sauer Author PicValerie Lawson: ROAR is your first picture book written completely in dialogue, why did you make this creative choice?

Tammi Sauer: I have always enjoyed using the classic picture book structure: character has a problem/want, character faces obstacles of escalating difficulty, character encounters a black moment in which all seems lost, character manages to solve the problem by the story’s end.

A few years ago, though, I challenged myself to try a variety of different approaches for telling a story, and writing a book entirely in dialogue was one of them. I wanted to stretch as a writer.

It was fun. And hard.

VL: Even though you were successful with those classic structure books, I love that you took the chance on trying something new. It’s really paid off!

The only character in the book with a name, Stanley the cat, was the creation of the illustrator, Liz Starin. What other surprises did you find when you saw the drawings for the first time?

TS: I discovered that the story was set in the boy’s world. When I was writing the manuscript, I envisioned it set in the dragons’ world. Also, I pictured Standard Issue Dragons. Liz’s dragons were a fresh, wonderful, and welcome surprise.

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VL: You do a lot of school visits each year, what’s your favorite part about interacting with the kids? Any standout memories/stories from the last year or two?

TS: As a former teacher and library media specialist, I love visiting schools and getting kids fired up about reading and writing. These visits have resulted in marriage proposals, invitations to play dates, and lots of great fan mail.

There are beautiful, quiet moments as well. Following a recent presentation for a large group of fourth and fifth graders, a girl waited for the room to clear. Then she came up to me, gave a shy smile, and said, “I’m a writer, too.”

VL: Oh, that last one just gives you tingles! Inspiring another generation of writers.

And when can we expect to see another dance video like the Librarian?

TS: Ha! I think I am a one-hit wonder in that department. I do, however, make a cameo in the ROAR! trailer.

VL: Nice segue! We will get to view that wonderful trailer right here after this interview.

In many posts talking about revising a manuscript, you’ve mentioned being happy after taking an entire day to change or cut a single word. What can you tell us about your revision process?

TS: Oh, I am a revision nerd!

Getting a manuscript juuuuust riiiiiiight is my favorite part of the process. It feels like a game to me. I strive to use only the best words. I remind myself to tell as much as possible in as little as possible.

Reading my manuscript aloud is another must—it helps to ensure that the rhythm is there. I also step away from my manuscript and grab lunch or run an errand. Getting away from it for an hour or so helps me to return refreshed. OH. The revision process ALWAYS involves ice tea. I am currently hooked on OnCue’s unsweetened tangerine green tea. It sounds gross. But is it good. I promise.

VL: Great ideas! I always find taking a break works wonders, too. 

This is your thirteenth published picture book, what’s the best piece of advice you can pass on to fellow authors?

TS: My best advice came from a quote I once read in a Cynsations blog post (blog by author Cynthia Leitich Smith).

“My main considerations for any picture book are humor, emotion, just the right details, read-aloud-ability, pacing, page turns, and of course, plot. Something has to happen to your characters that young readers will care about and relate to. Oh, and you have to accomplish all that in as few words as possible, while creating plenty of illustration possibilities. No easy task.”—Lynn E. Hazen.

VL: No easy task, indeed. Fantastic quote.

What can you tell us about what you are currently working on/soon to have released?

TS: I’m usually pretty hush-hush about my current projects. They feel like eggs in the incubator to me. Not all of them will hatch, but I always hope for good.

I can, however, tell you what’s in store for 2016. I have four upcoming titles:

Mary Had a Little Glam, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton (Sterling), is my first rhymer. It was an incredible challenge. I recently saw Vanessa’s sketches, and I am in love with sweet and sassy Mary.

I Love Cake! Starring Rabbit, Porcupine, and Moose, illustrated by Angela Rozelaar (HarperCollins), is about some of life’s finer things—good friends and cake. It also involves some spectacular sweaters.

Ginny Louise and the School Field Day, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger (Disney*Hyperion), is a sequel to Ginny Louise and the School Showdown. In book two, the irrepressibly cheerful Ginny Louise takes on the Truman Elementary Troublemakers in a whole new way.

Your Alien Returns, illustrated by Goro Fujita (Sterling), is a companion to Your Alien. This time around, the boy goes on a play date that is out of this world.

VL: Whew! Another busy year for you! Two sequels, how wonderful! And cake! I can’t wait to see them all.

Thank you so much for sharing your time with us, Tammi. Always a pleasure.

And now for your viewing pleasure…

The Trailer

The trailer for ROAR! includes cameo appearances from some of today’s fiercest authors and illustrators. You’ve been warned. Please view responsibly.

 

 

To learn more about the making of the trailer and behind-the-scenes scoop, check out this blog post by Tammi on Picture Book Builders.

The Giveaway

Tammi is giving away a SIGNED COPY of her new book ROAR! to one lucky reader of this blog!

To enter, all you have to do is name every author and illustrator who appears in the ROAR! trailer, along with their complete body of work listed in chronological order from bestselling to – JUST KIDDING!

simply…

ENTER HERE!!!  ➤➤➤ Tammi Sauer Rafflecopter giveaway

(If you really, really want to enter, but don’t want to use the Rafflecopter feature, feel free to post a comment below as your entry, and I’ll manually add you to the giveaway.)

Winner will be selected on October 19th.

CONGRATULATIONS TO LYNNE MARIE!

SHE’S THE WINNER OF THE SIGNED COPY OF ROAR!

Learn more about Tammi Sauer here.

Follow Tammi on Twitter here.

Follow Tammi’s group blog Picture Book Builders here.

Book Blitz – LEGENDS by Doug Solter

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I’m happy to be the host for today’s stop on the LEGENDS Book Blitz tour for my friend and #okscbwichat co-host, Doug Solter. This is the third book in this exciting series, and I for one can’t wait to read it.

(Stay tuned for a huge giveaway package!)

 

Let’s learn a little bit more about the author:

doug-solterGrowing up in Oklahoma, Doug Solter began writing screenplays in 1998 and became a 2001 semi-finalist in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. He made the switch to writing young adult novels in 2008. His first novel, the Formula One racing romance SKID, was honored as a young adult semi-finalist in the 2013 Best Kindle Book Awards. His paranormal werewolf romance MY GIRLFRIEND BITES was honored in the same category in 2014. Doug is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. He respects cats, loves the mountains, and one time walked the streets of Barcelona with a smile on his face.

Learn more about Doug Solter here.
Follow Doug on Twitter here.
Follow Doug on Facebook here.
 Visit Doug's Goodreads Author Page here.
Let’s get some details about the new book:

 

LegendsLEGENDS (Skid#3) by Doug Solter

Release Date: September 2, 2015

Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Order the eBook on Kindle: amazon



Plot Summary:


Looking for an exciting young adult read about a kick-butt girl that doesn’t revolve around high school?

Meet Samantha. She drove the car that killed her dad. Now racked with guilt, the 18-year-old-girl racer dedicates her life to becoming what her dad always planned her to be…a racing champion. Now demoted to number three driver, Samantha feels alienated from her friends on the crew and Manny. And the worst part of it is…she knows it was all her fault.

Determined to make amends and save her Formula One career, Samantha re-commits herself to winning the championship. But how? How can she convince her boss to give back her car? How can she convince the crew that she’s changed? And how can she win eight consecutive races against the best drivers in the world? That’s what it will take for her to have a shot at the world championship.

Manny doesn’t like to create waves. His uncle owns the racing team, but the crew teases the boy like one of their own. But that’s okay. Manny dreams of designing his own race cars and he thought his girlfriend Samantha would race them. But she tossed him to the side when the self-absorbed racing star took over from the small-town girl from Oklahoma that he fell in love with.

Samantha needs an edge. She needs that revolutionary new transmission Manny designed that made her car so nimble and fast. But Manny hates her. She neglected him so bad that he broke up with her. Why would the boy help her? Especially when Manny’s ex-girlfriend is making her move to take Samantha’s place.

The world now thinks Samantha Sutton is a joke. Solid proof that girls don’t belong in a race car.

She doesn’t have a choice. Samantha must prove the world wrong.

I love stories about girls that kick butt. And if you’ve read my bio, you know I’m a fan of speeding, errrr, driving.

 

Let’s read an excerpt:

Chapter 1

 

Samantha

Munich, Germany

The human shell that bears my name wears jeans, a little makeup, and a St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap. She feels hollow. Like her guts have been scooped out. The guts that made her take risks. The jittery stomach that made her puke before a race. The pulsing heart that made her fall in love. The delicate tissues that made her human. Made her real.

It’s all been sucked out of her.

Shutting my eyes, I listen to the sounds around me in the first-class departure lounge. A man speaks to his wife in German. He’s flying to Toronto on business and must be on the phone since he’s telling her when his plane is scheduled to leave. A woman in a strong Jersey accent scolds her child for making a fuss over her drink. Yeah, she’ll be sitting right next to us on our flight, I bet.

I tune out the voices and stretch on this comfy leather couch I found.

The silk scarf covering my face lifts as my sister leans in to destroy my moment of nirvana.

“Are you gonna be moody on the plane too?” Paige asks.

“Yes.” I grab the scarf and place it back over my face.

Paige lifts the scarf again. “Do you want a cookie? The walnut chocolate-chips are wicked.”

“No.” I take it from her again. I don’t wanna talk. Eat. Or experience life. I want life to leave me alone for a while. Or better yet, forget that Samantha Sutton ever existed.

Doesn’t Paige get the message? Do I have to spell everything—

Paige lifts the scarf. “Please stop feeling sorry for yourself. You’ll get through this. Everything will be mucho better. You’ll see.”

A spark of rage throws me off the couch and into my sister’s face. “Shut up. You don’t know anything. My future is gone. I screwed up my entire life and I don’t need my baby sister acting like she knows what’s best for me because you don’t know crap. You’re useless to me right now. Do you understand? Useless. Go bother someone else with your condescending wisdom.”

Paige wants to cry, but she somehow chokes off the tears. She stands and grabs her purse before shuffling out of the lounge.

Good. Now I’ll have some freaking peace.

I lie down on the leather couch. Voices murmur around me. Fingers point. That loud argument with Paige draws the room’s attention to that eighteen-year-old girl on the couch. That girl who looks oddly familiar because she took off her stylish Italian scarf and her large designer sunglasses that disguised her identity.

Crap.

Please leave me alone. I don’t want to be her. I want to be a nameless traveler. A plain, uninteresting girl you would pass in the hallway without a second peek.

I throw on my sunglasses, hoping it will make me invisible again.

Wrong.

Their hushed voices start it off.

“Is that the girl who…?”

“Samantha Sutton. Yes, that’s her!”

“How could she do that to her team?”

“What a spoiled brat. Did you hear what she did?”

“What an embarrassment to the sport.”

“She’s a teen girl. What do you expect?”

The first-class lounge becomes my court room. All the passengers self-appointed judges. I can’t look at them. But I can’t stare at the ceiling for another hour. Maybe if I sit here and be quiet, they’ll leave me alone.

The voices go on and on as if I can’t hear all the awful things they’re saying about me.

People take pictures. I ignore them and play a game on my phone.

They stand up and approach me.

I don’t look up or acknowledge them.

Those people snap pictures anyway. Like I’m this inanimate object. Not a person with feelings. Or a girl who craves her privacy.

A few ask questions. Normally I would answer and be that professional sports celebrity I’ve been in the past. But I’m too fragile now. If I talk about what’s happened this week, dig up all those horrible moments again, I’ll totally lose it. So I walk out of the first-class lounge…

…and into a sea of media. They circle me like a pack of wolves and I’m trapped. They just won’t let the story die. Guess my location isn’t a secret now. Microphones and cameras aim for my head. It’s the quickest way to take me out. Their questions fly like spears…

“What’s the real reason you skipped the German Grand Prix? Was it to get back at the team for not supporting you?”

“Will Porsche sack you for embarrassing them?”

“Did Ralf Wolert’s nephew break up with you because he found out you were pregnant?”

“Was the pressure too much for you? Are you seeking professional counseling?”

“Is this the end of your career in Europe? Will you try to race in America?”

I can’t answer them. The mountain of crap that I’ve created is suffocating and I have no energy left to fight it.

My cheeks become moist.

Crap. I can’t start bawling. Not here. Not in front of the cameras.

They want to break you. Reduce you to nothing. Don’t let them do it.

The cameras move in to capture my face. The tears flow and I can’t stop. These reporters will get what they want. A pathetic little girl crying over the boy she loves.

I wedge myself in between two reporters and push through them. I dash across the terminal in this frantic state. Searching for an escape. Searching for anything that will keep them away.

And they’re chasing me. Seriously. Chasing me across the freaking airport.

I spot a women’s restroom and dash inside.

Finding an empty stall, I slam the door shut and sit on the cold toilet seat. I relax for a second and rest my head against the wall. Then it rolls out like a tidal wave. I sob and the tears drip off my jaw. I drift forward. My wet cheek slides against the wall. The friction it makes is the only thing preventing me from collapsing on to the bathroom tiles.

There’s a commotion as the restroom door opens. Things being moved around. It must be the mob. They won’t give up. They’re stuffing themselves into this bathroom. Excited that I’ve trapped myself inside this stall. They don’t care about decency. Or empathizing with the pain of a human being. All they care about is their story. Catching pictures of me in this helpless position would be the perfect image for their news feeds.

The stall door opens.

It’s Paige.

She kneels down and wraps her arms around this hollow and broken girl who’s totally lost it. Paige rocks me back and forth like a child. But it does the job. It helps me find my voice.

“I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know what to say,” I blubber through the tears. “I’m losing my mind.”

“Don’t worry,” Paige says in this upbeat tone that I hated a few minutes ago…but I so need to hear now. “I blocked the door. No one’s coming in here.”

“But they’re still out there. Waiting to pounce. I can’t—I can’t get on a plane now.” I sniff and my nose is clogged from crying. “Look at me. I’m a disaster. And everyone’s gonna stare at me on the plane for what…? Nine hours?”

“We’ll charter a private jet home, okay? Megan will have a cow, but this is an emergency and we’re spending the money.”

I manage a nod.

Paige dives into her purse for a moist towelette and cleans my face. I sneeze and snot comes out my nose. Paige gives me a tissue and I blow into it. Paige gets rid of the tissues and my ball cap. She brushes my hair to make me look like a girl again.

I breathe in and relax.

Paige searches her purse and takes out a big cookie. “Here, I saved you one.”

I take the cookie and examine its rocky surface of walnuts and serious chunks of chocolate. My mouth waters. “Are they really wicked?”

“Dude! You won’t regret it. Now do the Cookie Monster on that bad boy while I call NetJets.”

Nice! I’m ready to find out what happens next. And strangely, I’m hungry for a chocolate chip cookie.

Doug has self-published all three of these books and has done a tremendous job. So much hard work goes into this process when you do it right. Doug will actually be speaking about the ups and downs of self-publsihing at our local SCBWI schmooze in October as part of a panel on self-publishing. If you are interested, check our OK SCBWI website for more details.

And now that you are all excited about Doug’s new book…

THE GIVEAWAY!Skid Series Pic

And man, is it ever a big one!

  • One signed paperback copy of LEGENDS.
  • One paperback copy of the first two books in the series (SKID and RIVALS)
  • One T-shirt and one hat from the main character’s fictional racing team
  • And one book cover jigsaw puzzle!

 

ENTER HERE!!!  ➤➤➤ LEGENDS Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck to all who enter!

FYI,  I just picked up the first book in the series, SKID,  at our spring conference so I could have an autographed copy, but if you are also new to the series, you can get it FREE for your Kindle on Amazon. And the second book, RIVALS is only .99 this month.

ORDER HERE!!!  ➤➤➤amazon

Thanks for allowing me to host this fantastic event. I wish you well on the rest of your book tour, Doug!

ButtonXBT

SUMMER NIGHTS is here! – a TGNA post

tgnahead

 

It’s Media Monday over at The Great Noveling Adventure and I’m discussing the release of our first flash fiction anthology! It’s a time of joyous celebration for us over at TGNA.

Normally, I give just a preview of the post, but I want share the whole thing here for once. I’d love for you all to download a copy and, of course read my story, A THOUSAND POINTS OF LIGHT.

Here’s the post:

Media Monday is all about giving our readers a gift and what better gift than our own stories?

We decided to add in stories from some of our talented readers. That’s what this site is all about – the shared writing journey.

I had the pleasure of reading through the entries and the agony of helping to eliminate all but the best stories to include alongside our TGNA alumni. This has been such a fun process and I hope you enjoy this collection as much as we enjoyed sharing it with you.

Here it is!

Our very first anthology, ready to download with love from us to you, our faithful readers.

And for FREE!

 

Summer Nights CoverSUMMER NIGHTS is the first flash fiction anthology compiled by The Great Noveling Adventure. The collected stories run the gamut from first love to heartbreak, revenge to forgiveness, redemption to murder. They, like the thirteen authors who contributed them, are widely varied, but they each demonstrate the same truth:

A lot can happen in a single night.

With stories from:
Jenny Adams Perinovic Gabriella Crivilare
Cristina R. Guarino Antonius M. Hogebrandt
Neil Kettles Sarah Kettles Valerie Lawson
Adriana Marachlian Kyrie McCauley L.S. Mooney
Susan Nystoriak Kate Sheeran Swed R.B. Stewart

 

Download your copy now!

 

Download for free: PDF · EPUB · MOBI

 

Please share this with your friends and let us know what you think. You can even post a review on Goodreads!

 

TweetFriendly Twitter reminder:  If you’d like some company as you write, please join us! I host AM #wordsprints @Novel_Adventure weekdays from 7-9am CST. (We’re starting an hour later during the summer months.)

Jenny Adams Perinovic – Author Interview

I met Jenny Adams Perinovic, a fellow TGNA member, through Twitter when she was looking for unpublished writers to interview about their journey, thus far. That led to me auditioning for and joining the group blog, and now a few years and a some memorable Google hangouts later, I am happy to call her a friend. I am honored to have the privilege of interviewing her now that she is celebrating the release of her first book!

All of us at The Great Noveling Adventure are so thrilled for her and couldn’t be more excited.

First, a little bit about her novel:

The BookAMDB

A MAGIC DARK AND BRIGHT by Jenny Adams Perinovic

Release Date: April 28, 2015

Genres: YA, Gothic Romance

Order a Signed Paperback (US): One More Page Books
Order the eBook:  Kindle (US) ·  Kindle (UK) ·  Nook  · Kobo  · Itunes
Order a Paperback:  Amazon / B&N / The Book Depository / IndieBound

Plot Summary:

She meant to help a ghost…not unleash a curse.

Amelia Dupree hasn’t seen the Woman in White since the night her brother died.

The ghost seems to have disappeared from the woods surrounding Asylum, Pennsylvania—that is, until Charlie Blue moves into the creepy old MacAllister House next door. Amelia can’t help liking him, even though she spent her childhood thinking his grandmother was a witch. And she definitely can’t ignore the connection between his arrival and the Woman in White’s return.

Then Amelia learns that the Woman in White is a prisoner, trapped between the worlds of the living and the dead. Devastated by the idea that her brother could be suffering a similar fate, Amelia decides to do whatever it takes to help the Woman in White find peace–and Charlie agrees to help her.

But when Amelia’s classmates start to drown in the Susquehanna River, one right after another, rumors swirl as people begin to connect the timing of Charlie’s arrival with the unexplained deaths. As Charlie and Amelia uncover the dark history of Asylum, they realize they may have unleashed an unspeakable evil. One they have to stop before everything they love is destroyed.

_____________________________

Advance Praise: “A MAGIC DARK AND BRIGHT is a captivating mystery filled with magic and romance. It kept me enthralled until the heart-stopping finale.” — Lisa Maxwell, Author of  SWEET UNREST

Doesn’t that just give you chills? I love a delicious gothic mystery with some tortured romance on the side. This sounds like my kind of story. I’m so excited to get my hands on this book! Let’s hear more about how this story came into being.

JAP PicThe Interview

Valerie Lawson: What was the inspiration for this project?

Jenny Adams Perinovic: Would you believe it started as a homework assignment? I completed a few courses towards my MA in Fiction at Johns Hopkins, and one of my first assignments was a short piece that told the story of a character from another character’s point of view. The first line came to me right away: Halfway through November, Charlie stopped coming to school. By the end of the assignment, I knew three things: the story was set in the mountains where I grew up, Charlie and Amelia had done a Bad Thing, and I could keep going in Amelia’s voice forever. SO MUCH has changed since then (including that first line!) but Charlie, Amelia, and Asylum have always been there.

VL: Thank goodness for that assignment. Who says all homework is bad, right?

I just love the title for this book, and that plot summary sounds amazing. I can’t wait to read it! What more can you tell us about this story?

JAP: Thank you so much! A MAGIC DARK AND BRIGHT is the story of a girl dealing with extreme loss–her brother, Mark, passed away shortly before the story starts and she blames herself for his death. They both knew that the woods behind their house were haunted by a mysterious woman in white, but after Mark’s death, the ghost stops appearing. Amelia becomes obsessed with watching the woods, and after several weeks, the ghost reappears, just as a pretty cute boy moves in next door. Amelia befriends Charlie, even though his grandmother is one of the most notorious citizens of their town. Things get complicated when the townspeople start to blame Charlie for a string of mysterious drownings, because everyone knows his family is Cursed with a capital C. I won’t get into TOO much more detail, but this is also a story about friendship and grief. And there’s magic. And kissing.

VL: People do crazy things when dealing with loss. Even before you throw in magic and cursed boys and kissing.

You took on the daunting process of self-publishing for the book. Tell us about that decision and why it was right for you, for this project. Did you have that goal in mind when you started out or did this evolve throughout your writing process?

JAP: It definitely evolved. When I started writing AMD&B in 2012, I didn’t know much about self-publishing, but as the years went on, it went from being a last resort to a really attractive option. I queried for a few months, but after doing a LOT of research and asking a ton of questions, I decided to pull it from consideration and dive into indie publishing.

VL: What surprised you the most about the process of putting a book out into the world yourself?

JAP: The support! I had expected a little bit of…not backlash, exactly, but maybe a little bit of snobbery about my decision? Self-publishing definitely has a stigma attached to it, because there are a lot of people out there who don’t treat it professionally. But everyone–from writer friends to family to my local community–has been so supportive and excited for me. It’s really amazing.

VL: That is so fantastic. Nothing feels better than the support of your loved ones and peers! It doesn’t hurt that you have painstakingly worked through each step of the publishing process to put out a quality book. I mean, that cover! So gorgeous!

Thinking back to your childhood, what heroes or role models did you look up to? What drew you to them?

JAP: Oh, this is a GOOD question. My first hero ever was Nancy Drew. When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d say, “Nancy Drew.” Now, clearly, I’m not a girl detective, but I think Nancy would approve of my career path. 😉 I was drawn to her smarts, her drive, and her strong relationships with Bess, George, and Ned.

VL: Oh, yes! I loved Nancy Drew.

Who was your childhood best friend? Are you still friends today?

JAP: I actually have three best friends from elementary school who, at this point, are more like sisters than friends. One of them is Sarah Kettles, another TGNA blogger and the most talented writer I know. I can’t imagine life without them!

VL: How wonderful! My closest friend is from my childhood, too. There’s nothing like someone who’s known you all your life (and sticks by your side anyway).

What was the worst job you ever had while going to school?

JAP: Oh, hands down was when I worked as a student web developer in college. I spent 20 hours a week turning syllabi into web pages, which wasn’t terrible, but I was also working 15 hours in the library and taking a full course load. And then I caught mono and BAM. I was done for. When I asked if I could reduce my hours to 10 a week, my boss told me I should drop a class or two, because “there’s no shame in graduating late.” I quit on the spot.

VL: How dreadful! What a thing to tell a student.

What are you currently working on?

JAP: Three things: the sequel to AMD&B, which is taking precedence; my circus book, which is pretty much the book of my heart; and the new adult mystery I started during NaNoWriMo.  

VL: Oh, a circus book! That sounds interesting. Of course, after I start this book, I’ll want you to finish the sequel AMD&B book first. No pressure.

What has been your favorite book to read/book you’ve been most excited about over the past year?

JAP: I was most excited about ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER by Stephanie Perkins–I loved ANNA and LOLA and ISLA didn’t disappoint. I was also really looking forward to the latest OUTLANDER book, because Jamie Fraser.

On book I absolutely loved was called LOVE IN A TIME OF MONSTERS by Teresa Yea. I stumbled upon the cover on Pinterest and just KNEW I had read it. It was SO wonderful and clever and imaginative, and I couldn’t put it down.

VL: I really want to read that series from Stephanie Perkins. And so many other good recommendations there. Although, Outlander seems to come with an increase in my cable TV commitment, as well. Although from what all my writer friends say, totally worth it.

What would be your dream assignment/what would you most like to write about?

JAP: I’m dying to write a cheerleading book. Cheerleading was such a huge part of my life in high school, and I think a mystery set in the world of competitive cheer would be SO MUCH FUN. Like Veronica Mars meets Bring it On.

VL: That is an excellent comp title. I’m sure you would have a ton of interest in that story.

Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your beautiful new book with us, Jenny! I am thrilled for you, and wish your book a happy release day!

As a special treat to whet your appetites further for this book, here is an excerpt from A MAGIC DARK & BRIGHT:

Narrow stairs twisted up into the darkness. Charlie reached down and touched my wrist, urging me forward. My heart beat a frantic tattoo against my ribs; I wasn’t sure whether it was from his touch or nerves from the thought of heading up into the darkness.

I had the flashlight, so I went first. The stairs groaned under my weight, and I climbed slowly, focusing the yellow beam of light on the steps ahead of me until we reached the top and had nowhere else to go.

The rain was louder up here, pounding on the roof like an entire troop of tap-dancers. I swung the flashlight around, trying to get my bearings. The light danced over white-draped furniture, old-fashioned steamer trunks, and piles and piles of newspapers tied into neat bundles. The small rectangle of floor closest to the stairs was completely clear already. Lightning flashed, throwing the attic into such a bright light that I had to blink, and…

My breath caught in my throat. It couldn’t be. She never left the woods.

“What is it?” Charlie was right behind me.

I stepped closer, not trusting myself to speak. This time, with the flashlight focused solely on it, the silhouette of a dress form took shape, and I let out a shaky laugh, right as the thunder rolled overhead. “A dummy,” I said. “Just a dress dummy.”

“Did you think…?” He let the question trail off, and I shrugged. “Can you believe all of this stuff?” he asked.

I handed the flashlight back to him and lifted the corner of the sheet-covered lump next to me. An old rose-colored tufted sofa was underneath, a large rip in one of the cushions. “This all looks like…”

“Junk,” Charlie finished. “It’s all a bunch of junk.”

I plucked a large feathered hat from one of the piles closest to me and set it on my head. I posed in the dim light, fluttering my eyelashes at him. “Junk?” I pretended to be outraged, throwing one hand to my chest. “Why, Mr. Blue, how dare you? This here is one of the finest hats to ever grace this blessed Earth.”

He laughed. “I take it back,” he said. “That is a lovely hat.”

I stuck my tongue out at him, and he grinned. Feeling brave, I decided to venture deeper into the attic to see what else I could find. I’d only gone a few steps when I stepped on something that was definitely not floor. I gave a shriek as my feet went out from under me.

I threw out my arms, grabbing at the stack of boxes beside me, trying to keep my balance. That did nothing. In fact, I hit the ground in a heap, the boxes sliding down on top of me in a pile of dust and tiny plastic pieces.

Charlie was beside me in an instant. “Are you okay?”

“I think so,” I said, struggling to sit up. “Just clumsy.”

The boxes were all long and thin. Board game boxes. Some had opened in the fall; a cascade of faded Monopoly money and a few lonely pieces of Clue spilled across the floor. I pushed the boxes off me and stacked them neatly to one side.

Charlie leaned down to help me, tucking the flashlight under his arm. He picked up the pieces of the games on the floor and set them into the right boxes. “Look at these,” he said. “They’re ancient.”

I picked up a plain black box, almost the size and shape of the others, that hadn’t opened during the fall. I shook it gently. Something light rattled around. “I wonder what’s in here.”

He shone the flashlight on the box as I lifted the lid and set it aside. Nestled inside was a board covered in letters and a white triangle about the size of my palm. I picked the triangle up, running my fingers over the smooth, cool wood.

“Is that an Ouija board?” Charlie asked. He dropped to the floor beside me, sending up a cloud of dust. His long legs sprawled out, brushing against mine.

“I think so,” I answered. I pulled the board out and set it on the floor between us. “Leah and I tried this once.” It was one of my only clear memories of the days following Mark’s funeral: sitting in his bedroom, surrounded by his things, trying so hard to get him to speak to us. To me. “We couldn’t get it to work.” I turned the planchette over in my hands.

He locked his eyes with mine. His smile was slow and sweet, and it made my heart flip in my chest. “We could give it a try.”

“Now?” I couldn’t help the shiver that marched down my spine. Outside, the storm raged.

“What are you afraid of?” Charlie set the flashlight in his lap and reached over and plucked the planchette from my grip. He set it on the board, then looked up at me, his eyes dancing in the dim light.

Everything, I wanted to say. Instead, I scooted closer to him so my thigh pressed against his. “Fine,” I said, but I hesitated before putting my hand next to his on the planchette. Would I be able to handle it when it didn’t work?

Would I be able to handle it if it did?

Jenny is also giving away a SIGNED copy of her book and other swag on her website! Stop by to enter or clink on the link below!

ENTER HERE!!!  ➤➤➤ Jenny’s Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Learn more about Jenny Adams Perinovic here.

Follow Jenny on Twitter here.

Follow Jenny on Facebook here.