It was so fun to do a book event to celebrate the third and final book in the Unicorn Island series, Beyond the Portal, at my favorite bookstore, The Doylestown Bookshop on June 10th! You can order a signed copy from them here! We even had a special visitor as you can see!
We had a fun time with a scavenger hunt, unicorn light giveaway, goodies, a reading–and young readers (and older, too!) got their photo with my extra special friend, Tiffany the Unicorn!
Also, it was a wonderful surprise to finally meet my editor, Andrea with Epic for Kids, in person! She helped me make Beyond the Portal shine . Thank you all who came out and purchased books as well.
I was also super grateful to spend a week in Cape Cod this spring re-plotting one of my middle grade books into a new spookier version. Because spooky is fun! Cape Cod also has an eerie, haunted kind of feel to it with its wintry landscape still in April. Here is a favorite spot with a desolate sweeping vista by the sea. I even saw a coyote swimming toward me in a marsh channel. He got close then lumbered out, shook off his fur, and dashed away.
May was an up and down month. I was happy to celebrate our son, Joshua, moving home after nearly two years of living in Hawaii and spend time with him this summer before he travels around Europe but also distressed as my 88-year-old dad suffered more multiple strokes in North Carolina. Hospice let me know his passing was imminent and so I flew down, only to see him miraculously recover! Josh came home and had to check up on his Grampy so we then drove down to visit. While my dad’s a bit weaker and confused, he still insists Josh cuts that hair .
And now on to book recommendations! I was sad to finish this book, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Published in 1936 it is still so timely today–and one of the first self-help books. While, some parts have been updated for today’s generation, I loved the cultural snapshots in time from stories used to demonstrate principles (especially from people I greatly admire–like Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln). Dale has a breezy and friendly voice that is compelling. Definitely a book to re-read. Highly recommend! Star recommends, too.
I celebrated my birthday this month and found this birthday blast from my past. A photo from my 10th birthday! Maybe you can see why I’ve always ventured to the thrilling side of adventure in my story telling. Heh heh heh. I do love tormenting my characters. Whether writing thrillers for grownups or kids. Guess I started young!
I love living in the countryside and I’ll leave you with some idyllic, peaceful morning photos among the woods and fields today. No one out but the butterflies, birds, and a lone horse and buggy.
Happy reading—and happy summertime!
P.S. You can order Beyond the Portal HERE from your favorite bookseller–and all the Unicorn Island books.
P.S.S. Here is an excerpt from Beyond the Portal:
Sam let go of the handle with an exasperated sigh and sat back on her
heels. “We’re doing something wrong. What are we missing?”
Tuck scanned the poem again, then tapped the paper. “We forgot about the magical talisman.”
“But doesn’t Barloc count?” Sam asked. “He’s magical.”
“He is, but that’s not the same,” Tuck said. “A talisman is an object you wear that provides protection. I think it’s supposed to tie us to this world.”
Sam raked a hand through her tangled curls. “Well, where are we supposed to find something like that?”
“I have no idea,” Tuck said. “Maybe there’s something in the cave that we could use?”
“We don’t have time to look for some mystery magical object,” Sam said. “This is ridiculous. We should have been more—”
She’d almost forgotten that Barloc was there. His purple eyes sliced through the darkness of the cave.
Your necklace, Samantha. Where is it?
Sam’s hand went to her throat, where the unicorn tail necklace usually hung, but there was nothing there.
“Oh—I do have it!” she cried, remembering. She pulled her backpack off her shoulders and rummaged in a side pocket before holding the necklace up triumphantly.
“Will this work?” she asked, turning to Barloc.
The unicorn nodded.
Sam looped the chain around her neck and tucked it beneath her shirt. It might have been her imagination, but she was sure her skin felt warmer the instant the unicorn tail touched it. She knelt on the
ground and reached for the handle. She took a steadying breath and turned the handle three times.
The cave was suddenly filled with a swirling wind. Sam’s hair blew against her face, tendrils whipping across her cheeks. She looked at Tuck, who met her gaze and pointed to the cave wall.
A small ring of white light was expanding in a blaze that was every color of the rainbow. It grew until it was large enough for all three of them to walk through, side by side, and then it seemed to swell and shrink, almost as if it were breathing.
Sam didn’t know whether she felt amazed or terrified.
They’d done it—but now they had to go through to whatever was beyond.
Sam looked at Tuck. He stared, mesmerized, at the swirling vortex in
front of them. He raised one hand toward the vibrant colors, as if he wanted to touch them.
Sam grabbed Tuck’s outstretched hand. He gripped her fingers tightly, and, together with Barloc, they stepped into the light.