I’ve been writing for a long time and have beta read many books. I also worked for a few years tutoring high school and college writing–so I know grammar. I’m currently a special education teacher for a virtual school where I teach language arts and social skills. I have two teenaged sons, and I live in the Pacific Northwest. When I’m not writing, I love being in the outdoors: canoeing or kayaking, snowshoeing, hiking, and camping. I also like to knit, sew, and bake.
I love historicals, historical fantasy, fairy tale retellings, magical realism, mysteries, contemporaries, both MG and YA. Art history is a special interest of mine as well. I like anything set in Russia, China or India. I love smart humor (like Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place).
Favorite books/authors: Blue Balliet, Trenton Lee Stewart, Gail Carson Levine, Jessica Day George, Shannon Hale, the Penderwicks, The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, A Whole Nother Story, classics like Austen, Gaskell, Charles Dickens, Grace Livingstone Hill, Anne of Green Gables, P.G. Wodehouse
I don’t like: edgy/dark, sci-fi, high fantasy, or very sad books (no books about cancer or dying!)
CHASING VERMEER meets VANISHED (Sheela Chari) when 13-year-old Sam decodes a piece of Viking music to find his father in the 49,000-word middle grade mystery MUSIC OF THE RUNES.
Thirteen-year-old Sam Maclean has an eye for symbols and an ear for languages. He keeps a journal—like all great linguists—and can’t wait to visit Scotland and add Gaelic words. But when his family arrives in Scotland, and his dad vanishes at a castle, Sam’s language journal starts to collect dust.
The island police consider dad “low priority,” and his mom keeps to her room, sobbing and playing instruments. Sam meets two kids on the island: Lydia, who butts her way into everything, and her twin, Malcolm, who lives and breathes treasure hunts. Together they think Sam’s dad’s disappearance might be connected to a piece of Viking music. It’s up to Sam and his new friends to track down the music, interpret its runes, and prove its connection to Sam’s dad—if Dad’s ever going to leave Scotland alive.
Sam ignored the guy in the fedora pacing in front of his parent’s instrument booth. If he was looking for an Indiana Jones convention, he was way off. Like by 400 years.
Inside the auditorium people buzzed with excitement, plucking lutes and mandolins and blowing on recorders like they’d traveled back in time to a medieval Disneyland. The Handmade Instrument Festival was his parent’s other child. They’d been carving instruments no one ever heard of all year. At the moment, they were showing them off at some period concert.
The guy in the fedora was probably like the others. He’d ask Sam a bunch of questions and never open his wallet. Sam shoved his ear buds in. Most kids would play a game or text a friend on their phone. Not Sam. He listened to a Gaelic app, straining to hear the words for “It’s raining in Scotland” over bites of corn nuts.
“Excuse me.” Fedora man leaned on the table.
Sam pulled out his ear buds, waiting for a question about how a lute is carved or the dynamics of ancient music.
“You’re Ian’s son.”
Sam nearly choked on a barbecue-flavored corn nut. This guy knew Sam’s dad, which was weird enough. But he was too old to be Dad’s student. Not to mention he spoke with a Scottish accent. Dad’s voice had the same lilt, but it was eerie hearing it from someone else.
“Aye, you look like him.” Fedora man fingered a lute and a couple other instruments Sam didn’t know.
“You know my dad?”
“Let’s say I’m an old pal.”
The other works I’m working on right now are fantasies, a MG magical realism and YA historical fantasies. These are not as polished, but I would like help with these in the future.
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