It’s Pub Day for Bright Coin Moon!

Bright Coin Moon on the shelves at Barnes & Noble in New York City.

Bright Coin Moon on the shelves at Barnes & Noble in New York City.

Bright Coin Moon is officially out in the world today. A big thank you to everyone who pre-ordered, shared the cover on social media, and sent pictures of it on bookstore shelves.

Huge thanks, also, to my blog readers for comments and support along the way.

Bright Coin Moon on the shelves of University Book Store in Washington State.

Bright Coin Moon on the shelves of University Book Store in Washington State.



Five for Friday: Some Spooktacular Links


In honor of Halloween, I have compiled a list of my favorite spooky, funny and clever Halloween themed literary links. Hope you enjoy them!

1. Electric Lit brings you twelve haunting short stories.

2. Book Riot brings you 14 bookish Halloween costumes for children. These are adorable!

3. A California farmer has figured out how to grow pumpkinsteins.

4. Writers Digest lists the attributes of a successful ghostwriter.

5. 142 spooky quotes from LitQuotes.

Happy Halloween everyone!


IMG_1702The family and I kicked off the Halloween season at Busch Gardens this past weekend. If you haven’t been, it’s a huge amount of fun.

During the day, the park was fairly quiet. There were hardly any lines, which was nice, and the kids were able to ride their favorite things a few times. It began to get a little more crowded in the early evening, though, as people began to arrive for Howl-O-Scream.

When the sun went down, eerie music started up and odd characters materialized on the street. We didn’t actually go into any of the haunted houses out of fear of terrifying my youngest daughter, but we managed to find enough festivities to keep us busy. We saw the Monster Stomp show, which the kids loved, then we went to the Blood Banquet. We sat down at an outdoor table and watched the very entertaining Count Vlad perform while we dined on Casket Club Chili, Cemetery Tossed Salad and Bloodied Cherry Cobbler.

When the show was over, we left. Unlike the vampires and the goblins who had flown in for the evening festivities, we’d been there since the park opened that morning, and we were exhausted. We posed for one last family picture with a zombie before we headed out.IMG_1723 IMG_1726IMG_1725

A Few End of the Summer Quotes and Photos

IMG_4847There is no month in the whole year in which nature wears a more beautiful appearance than in the month of August.                                                 – Charles Dickens

Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.

– Henry James

IMG_5488Then followed that beautiful season… Summer….
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

In summer, the song sings itself.
– William Carlos Williams.


One must maintain a little bittle of summer, even in the middle of winter.
– Henry David Thoreau

The summer night is like a perfection of thought.
– Wallace Stevens

And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.
– F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Friday Five: Writing Links


1. WriteOnCon is coming August 26. This two-day online writing conference is free and features Editor and Agent forums as well as contests and live events.

2.Serendipity Literary and She Writes Press are hosting their first Memoir Discovery Contest. If you’ve written a memoir you should check it out.

3. If you liked Little House on the Prairie, you might want to check out the free online course MSU is offering on Laura Ingalls Wilder.

4. Gotham Writers invites you to invent a word and win a free class. Enter here by August 18.

5. Need some back to school sneakers? Check out New Balance’s Author Collection here. 

Have a great weekend everyone!

Writing the Unexpected


Thoreau once said, “Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.”

Writing can involve a lot of meandering, a lot of throwing out of material. A lot of what feels like wasted time. The trick, I’ve begun to think lately, is to just accept it, to say to yourself, “I will try this. I will set aside my outline for a few hours and see where this new idea leads, even though I may waste the day on it and throw it out.”

If you can do this, you open yourself up to surprises. The surprise might be a character. The friend of the sister of your main character pops up like an unwanted guest on page five, and she wants to stay. She wants to take over. Or it could be the setting. You have pages of heavily researched description of life on an ocean liner, but you realize that what your character truly wants and needs most, lies at the end of the Appalachian Trail. It might not work, but then again it might. Because sometimes a good surprise can be better than a road map. Sometimes it can be exactly what you need.








Literary Wanderings: Sleepy Hollow, New York

IMG_1523I pulled into the town of Sleepy Hollow on a Thursday evening, just before the cemetery closed. In the dying light, the stones looked slanted, the trees, twisted and sinister. It wasn’t hard to understand why Washington Irving chose it as the setting for his famous story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. It did, in fact, look like a place where people might be “given to all kinds of marvelous beliefs,” and “sunbeams seem to sleep so quietly, one would think that there at least the dead might rest in peace.”

I started off on foot, but the cemetery was larger than it had seemed at first glance. I began to worry that the gates might shut, and I would be stuck among the stones when the bronze statue of the woman in the chair (rumored to prowl the property each night) woke up.


I climbed back into my car and drove along the looping roads until I came to the famous bridge.








The bridge in the cemetery is a replica. The real site is in town, but this one seemed spooky enough. A dirt path led up to and from it, upon which it was easy enough to imagine Ichabod running, just before he and the horseman disappeared into thin air.

After visiting Irving’s gravestone, I visited the Old Dutch church, said to be the place where Ichabod sought refuge from the Headless Horseman. It is, in fact, a stop on a walking tour that traces the path he took as he fled.

IMG_1531Before I left, I took a quick tour of the town. Although not as spooky, Sleepy Hollow and nearby Tarrytown were picturesque and also worth wandering through.




My Book Has a Cover!

I have the cover for Bright Coin Moon, and I am excited to share it with you. Here it is:

Bright Coin Moon-3

Here is the description:

Set against the colorful backdrop of immoral psychics and dishonest scam artists, Bright Coin Moon tells a story of longing and loyalty and the emotional burden of sacrifice.

Seventeen-year-old Lindsey Allen is an A-student who has her heart set on becoming an astronomer. But first she must break away from her mother, an eccentric failed beauty queen who has set up a phony psychic reading shop in their Oregon garage.

Lindsey is biding time until she graduates high school, reading tarot cards for the neighbors in her mother’s shop and recording the phases of the moon in her Moon Sign notebook. Her life changes when her mother, Debbie, decides they should move to California to become Hollywood psychics to the stars. As they pull out of the driveway, Lindsey looks up at the silver morning moon. It’s a bright coin moon, which means only one thing: what we leave behind today will rise up tomorrow.

When mother and daughter arrive in Los Angeles with new identities, they move into a leaky, run-down building and spend their nights stalking restaurants and movie premieres to catch that one celebrity they hope will be their ticket. When it seems they will never make it in LA, Lindsey is assigned a new mentor through her school. Joan is a lonely, wealthy widow who can’t get past the death of her husband, Saul. Debbie is convinced they’ve hit the jackpot, and plans for a future séance commence.

Bright Coin Moon will release on November 4, but you can pre-order it now here.