The countdown begins…

… just 28 more days until it’s time to head back to Pumpkin Falls again!

That’s right, there’s another rollicking mystery on the horizon featuring middle-school sleuth Truly Lovejoy! 

The book is available now for pre-order from your favorite bookseller — and keep an eye on this blog, as there will be giveaways to celebrate as publication day (January 31st) approaches …

 

Top Secret!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it … listen to this podcast with Book Club for Kids about my Spy Mice books!

Even more exciting?  VALERIE PLAME is the celebrity reader!  And she’s absolutely terrific.  (If you don’t know who Valerie is, she’s a real-life former spy!)

Click here to listen…

Or, if you want to download the podcast, you can snag it for free on iTunes, on Stitcher, or on Soundcloud.

Enjoy!

And many thanks to wonderful readers Ashley, Fatima, Josue, Mark, Marissa, and Bryan from LA’s Ambassador School of Global Education for participating in this podcast!  You rock!

Mission bonus:  Can you guess my favorite book?

MDBC #7 cover reveal & giveaway!

Let’s start the week off with something fun, shall we?

How about a publication date for MDBC #7 — aka MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOOK CAMP!

Yes, my friends, we have lift-off! Coming soon(ish) to a bookstore or library near you! Mark your calendars for May 2, 2016.

As if that’s not enough cause for celebration, how about a sneak peek at the cover?

MDBC 7 front cover

Ta da! That’s the front, of course. And in case you’re wondering (which I know you are), that’s Emma under the canoe. Here’s the back cover …

MDBC 7 back cover

… which features Jess.

I love love LOVE this cover! It totally captures the breezy spirit of the book. Once again, Lucy Ruth Cummins, the MDBC’s fabulous art director at Simon & Schuster, has knocked it out of the park!

(Lucy, by the way, has two new publications of her own to celebrate, first and foremost an adorable new BABY BOY, and second, A HUNGRY LION …

A HUNGRY LION

… her picture book which will be released in March, and which is available for pre-order now. I can’t wait to read it!)

What’s that you say? What’s MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOOK CAMP about? So glad you asked. Here’s the answer:

MDBC 7 jacket flap

 

Click on the picture to enlarge it. Otherwise you’ll be squinting, which isn’t very attractive plus your face could get stuck that way.

Ha!

Can you tell I’m in high spirits? Oh yes I am.

 

Hang on, where are you going? We’re not done celebrating yet!

:: balloons! ::     :: confetti! ::     :: fireworks! ::

Plus, I think we need a giveaway, don’t you? Three of you are going to be very happy campers (sorry, couldn’t resist) because I have three autographed MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOOK CAMP covers to give away, along with an autographed copy of the paperback MDBC of your choice. That’s right — any one of the first six titles in the series that you want. Maybe you need one to round out your collection or maybe you want to give one to a friend. It’s up to you!

All you need to do is leave a comment below, telling us about a favorite summer camp memory. If you’ve never been to camp, tell us the one thing you’d most want to do if you did go, OK? 

Winners will be chosen at random at midnight on September 15th, 2015. US and Canada only, please. Share this giveaway on your blog or Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or other social media for additional entries. (If you share on social media, please leave a link in the comments below so I can assign you an extra entry.) 

 

Kind words

I’m b-a-c-k!  Did you miss me?  I’ve been on a trio of back-to-back trips, and am home again for a bit before I hit the road once more.  Busy summer ahead…

Before I tell you about my travels (look for more on that tomorrow), I want to share some lovely reviews of ONCE UPON A TOAD.  Thank you, bloggers extraordinaire!

Click here to read one from Hannah, and here to read another from Book Aunt (love that name!).  Texas librarian Pamela Thompson, YA reviewer for the El Paso Times, was generous with her praise:

“Clever, cute, quirky, and good clean fun, Once Upon a Toad delivers non-stop laughs and outrageous antics!”

Wow — thank you, Pamela!  (Click here to read the rest of her review.)

Flamingnet Teen Book Reviews loved it, too — click here to read what this 13-year-old reviewer had to say.  And check this out — Flamingnet selected my book for a “Top Choice” award!

I’m blushing from all the praise…

 

The story behind the story

Here’s something fun to start off the week — I’m a guest on Bookscope, a new feature on the Children’s Literature Network website that gives authors an opportunity to talk about how they came to write a particular book.  Click here to read all about the personal voyage that led me to write my very first book, THE VOYAGE OF PATIENCE GOODSPEED.

(Tip:  for fans of my Mother-Daughter Book Club series, Patience Goodspeed may remind you of a cross between Cassidy and Jess.)

By the way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to THE VOYAGE OF PATIENCE GOODSPEED, which celebrates 10 years in print this month, and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to Children’s Literature Network, which just celebrated ten wonderful years connecting readers to the world of children’s books!  If you’re not familiar with this fabulous website resource, you should be…