Monday, January 23, 2017

Update and Some Cool Reads



It has been a while since my last post, so I thought I’d share a little of what I am up to and also what books I have been reading lately. Things are moving forward with The W.H.O. Files: Potions in the Pizza. It is set to come out in April. I got a phone call from my publisher letting me know they were sending me some printed copies. I can’t wait to see this book in print.

I’ve been so busy illustrating projects lately that I my writing is coming in little spurts. I am working on a new project that my agent is currently reviewing. If all goes well I might be swapping the drawing for writing. My current illustration projects include a fully illustrated novel about dinosaurs and a picture book about a spoiled girl. It’s been fun to work on both—all though time consuming.

Since I am illustrating so much I’ve gotten a lot of audiobooks under my belt. Here are just a few that I recommend:


The Blackthron Key, by Kevin Sands. I enjoyed this mystery set in London during the 1600’s. It’s
about an orphaned boy who is an apprentice to an apothecary. It’s filled with twists and turns and great surprises. My favorite moments were solving the codes and riddles left by Christopher Rowe’s master.

Synopsis: Until he got that cryptic warning, Christopher Rowe was happy, learning how to solve complex codes and puzzles and creating powerful medicines, potions, and weapons as an apprentice to Master Benedict Blackthorn—with maybe an explosion or two along the way. But when a mysterious cult begins to prey on London’s apothecaries, the trail of murders grows closer and closer to Blackthorn’s shop. With time running out, Christopher must use every skill he’s learned to discover the key to a terrible secret with the power to tear the world apart.


Mark of the Plague, by Kevin Sands. This is the sequel to The Blackthorn Key and it was just as good. I enjoyed the fresh spin the author takes with the main character, Christopher Rowe. This one has just as much mystery as the first book. I super fun read!

Synopsis: The Black Death has returned to London, spreading disease and fear through town. A mysterious prophet predicts the city’s ultimate doom—until an unknown apothecary arrives with a cure that actually works. Christopher’s Blackthorn shop is chosen to prepare the remedy. But when an assassin threatens the apothecary’s life, Christopher and his faithful friend Tom are back to hunting down the truth, risking their lives to untangle the heart of a dark conspiracy. And as the sickness strikes close to home, the stakes are higher than ever before…



Going Wild, by Lisa McMann. I thought this book was going to be just a normal “moving to a new town” kind of book, but it was surprisingly fun. The main character finds this bracelet that gives here super animal powers. Sounds kind of corny but it was a great read. I plan on continuing the series when the next book comes out.

Synopsis: Charlie Wilde knew her life would change forever when her family moved from the city of Chicago to the suburbs of Arizona…and that was before she found the bracelet. After putting it on, she notices odd things start to happen. Suddenly Charlie seems to have the speed of a cheetah and the strength of an elephant—and that’s just the beginning. She would be thrilled about her transformation if she had any idea how to use the device or control her amazing powers. So Charlie is forced to put her trust in new friends to help her uncover the surprising truth behind the mysterious bracelet.


The Unwanteds, by Lisa McMann. I’ve seen this series around but hadn’t had the opportunity to read it until now. I enjoyed the premise of the book and was hooked on the first chapter. I didn’t enjoy how the narrator head hopped so much—sometimes in the middle of a scene, but I understood why. It was creative and I think I’ll continue reading the series.

Synopsis: When Alex finds out he is Unwanted, he expects to die. That is the way of the people of Quill. Each year, all the thirteen-year-olds are labeled as Wanted, Necessary, or Unwanted. Wanteds get more schooling and train to join the Quillitary. Necessaries keep the farms running. Unwanteds are set for elimination. It’s hard for Alex to leave behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted, but he makes peace with his fate—until he discovers that instead of a “death farm,” what awaits him is a magical place called Artimé. There, Alex and his fellow Unwanteds are encouraged to cultivate their creative abilities and use them magically. Everything Alex has ever known changes before his eyes, and it’s a wondrous transformation. But it’s a rare, unique occurrence for twins to be divided between Wanted and Unwanted, and as Alex and Aaron’s bond stretches across their separation, a threat arises for the survival of Artimé that will pit brother against brother in an ultimate magical battle.


I’ll post some more in a few days. Like I said before, I am listening to a lot of audiobooks.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Some Really Cool Updates

Where has fall gone? It is almost Thanksgiving and I have so much to tell you. I've had some HUGE changes happen recently and you should probably know about them.

The first announcement is that my newest middle-grade book with Future House Publishing, The W.H.O. Files: Potions in the Pizza, had its release date changed from October 2016 to April 2017. Why? It was selected by FHP's distributor to be their spring lead title. This means it will be getting more attention not only by the publisher but my their team of distributors. Hopefully they'll have a better chance of getting this book into your local bookstores. I'm all geared up and ready for that book to come out. So mark your calendars for April 1st, 2017. Yeah, NO JOKE! You can also pre-order the paperback already on Amazon by CLICKING HERE.

Another great thing that’s happened is I finally signed with an agent! This has been a long time coming but I can proudly say that I am now represented by the super-agent and new partner, Michael Bourret, at Dystel, Goderich & BourretLLC. I’ve known Michael for a few years now. We first met when I interviewed him for the Authors Think Tank Podcast during a Storymakers Conference in Provo, Utah in 2013. That was our ice breaker. The day after the interview I pitched a book to him. Since then I have been trying everything to win his favor. I’m happy we finally get to work together on something. Already it’s been a fun experience. This guy is brilliant and really knows his stuff.

So that’s about all I have to update you on right now. Right now I’m looking forward to the New Year and I’m starting to really think about the goals I want to set for myself as an author/illustrator on 2017. As you know, I’ve been an indie author for all of my current books. With the publishing of The W.H.O. Files I will become what's called a hybrid author (publishing both traditionally and non-traditionally). Making the switch from indie to traditional was hard. I’d become so accustomed to doing everything myself it was a challenge to let go on some things. I think a lot of my goals for next year will be embracing the traditional route. I don’t think this means I will no longer indie publish, just trusting it more.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Going to Salt Lake Comic Con

In just 8 days I will be at Salt Lake Comic Con along with two amazing authors, Ali Cross and Christine Fonseca. We have a wide range of books for all ages. I'll also have my prints there as well as some brand new ones--you've got to see them. So come by our tables and say hi, get a hug, maybe a picture with us, and enjoy the show. See you there!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Reviewers Wanted

I am looking for reviewers for my new book coming out in October. My publisher is giving out Advanced Reader Copies in exchange for honest reviews of this book. THE W.H.O. FILES: POTIONS IN THE PIZZA, a quirky children’s Halloween mystery just waiting to be devoured by young readers. Join twins Ethan and Emmy and their best friend Jax as they uncover the truth behind some strange occurrences at their school. POTIONS IN THE PIZZA is a treat you won’t want to miss out on this Halloween. If you would like to get an Advanced Reader Copy contact Ryan Mendenhall (ryan@futurehousepublishing.com).

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Cover Reveal for The W.H.O. Files: Potions in the Pizza




Exciting news! I am publishing another book!! This one will be coming out through Future House Publishing in October 2016, just in time for Halloween.


About The W.H.O. Files: Potions in the Pizza

10­-year-­old twins Ethan and Emmy’s parents have never told their kids what they do for a living. Then just before Halloween, while their parents are away on an emergency business trip, Ethan, Emmy, and their best friend Jax discover a HUGE secret: could the twins’ parents actually be . . . witch hunters?

Meanwhile at school, a new team of glamorous lunch ladies arrives on the scene, serving meals that taste way too good to come from a school cafeteria. There’s only one logical explanation: they’re witches, and the meals they serve are spiked with a dangerous potion! Why have witches come to Roosevelt Elementary? Where have Ethan and Emmy’s parents gone? Can it be a mere coincidence that their parents left just as the witches arrived? Whether they’re ready or not, Ethan and Emmy have only one option if they want to save their school and find their parents: become witch hunters themselves.


If you would like to be notified when Mikey’s book is published, join our Beta-readers list. If you would like to get an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for a review of this book, contact Ryan Mendenhall (details below).

For booking school assemblies or classroom visits, media appearances, interviews, and/or book-signings contact Ami Johanson (ami AT futurehousepublishing.com). Contact Ryan Mendenhall (ryan AT futurehousepublishing.com) to request podcast appearances, guest blog posts or other digital promotional opportunities.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Book Review: Kate Unmasked



That’s right I am posting a review of yet ANOTHER book by the amazing author Cindy M. Hogan. I think I’ll stop doing this the day she stops writing books. So what book did I read?  

Kate Unmasked, book 1 in The Code of Silence series—a thrilling story about a girl whose desire to know who here real parents are lead her into dangerous paths that might be her doom. Like the tagline says, “Some secrets should stay dead and buried.”

What I liked about the book (all of Cindy M Hogan’s books actually) is that it’s clean. She proves that it is possible to have a thrilling suspense novel set in modern times that is free of language and sexual content without damaging the story or the believability. I liked that I could relate well with Kate and even see some of myself in her. This books makes you sit back and think what you would do if you were in Kate’s position. It’s a book filled with suspense, mystery, a dash of romance, and above all—page turning fun. While not all the mysteries were solved in book 1 she gives you enough to satisfy and teases you to read book 2. I can’t wait to read book 2, Kate Concealed, and luckily I don’t have to. It is also available. Don’t you love authors that get their books out quick? 

Synopsis:
The mysteries of her past consume her.

Seventeen-year-old Kate has never stopped searching for the secrets of her past—the secrets that began with her missing birth parents. After years of every lead drying up and every hope turning false, Kate finally lucks onto a promising lead.

Determined to find the truth once and for all, Kate travels to the gritty New Jersey shore. But what she finds is worse than she ever could have imagined. She can’t hide from who she is, and now she must face the awful consequences of finding the very people she should have been hiding from.
Some secrets should stay dead and buried.

A young adult action/adventure novel filled with mystery, suspense, romance, and lots of thrills, sure to thrill both teens and adults.

Links:

Monday, February 1, 2016

T. Man’s Northern Woods blog hop



Today I’m part of a special blog event hosted by T. Man, a 10-year-old author and homeschooler. When T. Man was only 8, he partnered with his older brother, M. Man, on a special homeschool writing project that resulted in their first published book, Tony the Phony and Cursed Mansion. This year, T. Man went solo and just finished the second book in the series, Tony the Phony and the Northern Woods. Written in the engaging style of a Choose Your Own Adventure™, each book is available for .99 on Amazon.

But today T. Man has chosen to share his new book with his readers in its entirety in a special interactive virtual event. Seven different bloggers are hosting sections of the story. The fun begins on T. Man’s blog. At the end of each page YOU have to decide how the story will go. Each choice will lead you to a new blog. You have the possibility of landing on any of four endings. Of course, when you finish you can always go back to the beginning and start again. Choose wisely!

Permalink to the start of the story on T. Man’s blog: http://wp.me/p2bspO-7d
Link to Tony the Phony and Cursed Mansion: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JQLMK6G/
Link to Tony the Phony and the Northern Woods: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AL2AFYM



“Quick, shine the flashlight on the bats!” Tony commanded.
“Okay, then you chuck rocks at them,” said Ed.
“What do you think I’m doing?”
Ed swung his flashlight like a baseball bat and knocked one out of the air. “Do you think we can climb up?”
“It’s worth a try.”
Just then another bat lunged at Ed but Tony threw a rock at it and it fell to the floor.
They scrambled like billy goats up to the top, dodging bats.
“We made it. Let’s run!” yelled Ed.
So they ran and ran until they saw the lights of a football game.
“Let’s find the paramedics and bring them back to the plane,” said Tony.
“Yeah,” said Ed.
The two boys jumped the fence, but before they found the paramedics, they ran into the pilot. He was on crutches. Their mouths dropped open. “How’d you get here?” Ed asked.
“The local airport saw us go down on their radar and sent a rescue squad. They’ve been looking for you all evening.”
“But how are you okay?” asked Tony.
“It wasn’t a heart attack. I just have to lay off my wife’s chili. We better call the cops and tell them that you’re here.”
While they waited for the cops to show up, the pilot reached in his pocket and pulled out two bronze medals. “Thanks for trying to help me. I hereby give you these medals of bravery.”
“Thanks!” they said together.
When the police car pulled into the parking lot, the officer said, “I’m glad you boys are all right. For now. I’ve got a surprise for you.”
Then the back door opened and Tony’s mom stepped out.
The End