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Sleuth 2500

A Mystery Novella

Middle Grade

A mysterious girl shows up inside Noah’s house. Who is she? How did she get here? Why is she obsessed over an unsolved murder that happened in Noah’s room 30 years ago?

Noah agrees to join her quest to get answers. But is she putting him in danger? With time running out, Noah takes the biggest risk of his life, and slides into an ending that neither he – nor the reader – saw coming….

Originally published by Scholastic in: Unexpected:Eleven Mysterious Stories.

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Living on Chocolate

Middle Grade

“I lived on Chocolate Circle for two months before I realized the sign on the corner referred to me . . . .”

Annie’s life hasn’t been easy. Losing her hearing at the age of seven was the worst thing that ever happened to her—until her mother gave her up to foster care.

Now, she’s one of many foster kids at a new house. Annie succeeds at remaining invisible—until her first experience with “that time of the month” shines an unwanted spotlight on her. Or . . . could this be the attention she’s been longing for?

Originally published by HarperCollins in: Period Pieces.

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Happily (Sorta) Ever After (Maybe)

Middle Grade

Lexi is looking forward to a fun summer with friends. So, why does Mom’s job have to send her on a business trip now? Overseas! To China, no less.

Dad is already overseas—in the military. Staying home alone is not an option, so off Lexi goes to live with her brother and his wife in their matchbox-sized house—which will soon be even smaller because of the soon-to-be-born BABY!

Originally published by G.P. Putnam in:  This Family is Driving Me Crazy.

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Relatives, Friends, and Frank Sinatra

Young Adult

Miranda and her best friend, Zoey get to spend senior year of high school studying at Colegial Internacional de Barcelona in Spain.

Zoey’s father arranges a spring break trip for them to Paris. Miranda would be way more excited if Zoey wasn’t planning on hooking up with Nick in Paris.

When Zoey goes off to meet Nick, Miranda explores the city by herself—yet something strange begins to happen.

She keeps running into people who she’s quite certain are . . . dead? People like relatives, friends, and . . . Frank Sinatra?

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Stelcy's Hymn of Leaving

Young Adult

Stelcy Waylon cocks her head, listening for the faint rumble of the Trailways bus, making its weekly stop in Cotton Creek, Texas.

Next Sunday, I’ll be on that bus.

She fidgets, barely able to sit still while the pastor rambles on. Just dreaming about being on that bus makes her smile. One more week. My seventeenth birthday.

Then: Goodbye, podunk town. Hello, new, exciting life.

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Raven & Crow

Young Adult

Raven lives a simple life in the cottage, now that her mother has died.

It’s a hard life, mending and sewing for villagers. And now mice have infiltrated her tiny home.

But Kene, a local boy, has promised her a mouser. There are 3 newborn orange kittens—and another, separate from the others. He is black and already capable of hissing—although not at Raven.

In spite of Kene’s warning about the odd kit being a witch’s cat, Raven is drawn to it. She names him Crow.

The slow realization that Kene was right about Crow being bewitched terrifies Raven. She must act—to protect herself, Kene, and the unsuspecting villagers.

But what if it’s too late?

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Tangled Notes in Watermelon

Young Adult

Cora is mourning the sudden loss of her grandmother—her only connection to someone who shares the strange condition she was born with—synesthesia.

When Cora listens to music, she sees colors and shapes. She learned early on that other kids do not share her unique experience, so it’s best not to speak of it to anyone—except her grandmother, who now is gone.

Then a boy named Jesse shows up, distraught over the loss of Cora’s grandmother. Who is this boy? And how does he know her grandmother?

Originally published by Knopf/Random House in: What a Song Can Do.

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The Amending

Young Adult

Beware, maidens who have pricked me with envy, you will pay. For I am Mullag. I will help myself to that which gives you vanity and pride.

Two beautiful maidens—twin sisters-—fall under a witch’s curse—centuries earlier. Now they are trapped in their cottage, watching the world outside change year after year while the witch, Mullag, feeds off them.

She is ancient, yet her skin is as dewy as Rini’s and her flowing auburn hair as lush and silky as Kylla’s.

But now a boy has caught Rini’s eye. What will happen if Rini defies the witch–for love?

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The Tapestry

Young Adult

The dreams begin the night Mandy takes the tapestry home. She and Jeb found it in an ancient shop and snatched it up for the senior class production of Camelot. 

In Mandy’s dream, the scene in the tapestry plays out—night after night: a young maiden and a handsome king, gazing at her.

Yet, angry guards stand ready to drag the maiden away.

The dreams become more intense—until the night Mandy finds *her 21st century self* inside the tapestry scene, and she is the one the guards are planning to drag off to the dungeon.

Originally published in: Scholastic Scope Magazine

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Be More Daring

Young Adult

Tim and his twin sister, Kelly, fly to Telluride for a fun New Year’s Eve weekend skiing with their dad, who teaches at a nearby college.

What they don’t anticipate is learning that their dad is dating one of the grad students, who is not much older than his kids. Awkward!

Romance is in the air for both of the twins, yet things don’t always go as planned.

But, in the midst of celebrating New Year’s Eve, Tim succeeds in making that first resolution come true:

Be More Daring.

Orignally published by Avon/Macmillan in:

New Year, New Love.

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Young Adult

Callie snatches up a kitten she finds hiding beneath a prickly-thorned rose bush. Instantly she falls in love.

Her sister Rachel, who Callie lives with, tells her she can keep the kitten. Callie names him Thorn because of where she found him.

Something bad must have happened to the little guy. Callie finds a mark on his neck that looks as if he’s been burned with a match. It makes Callie want to care for him all the more.

Thorn apparently hates Tony, Rachel’s husband. Callie’s feelings toward Tony alarmingly begin to mimic the kitten’s until Callie fears she might do harm to her brother in law.

What is going on? And why did she suddenly wake up in the middle of the night with a butcher knife in her hand while filled with utter contempt for Tony?

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Young Adult

Mellisa’s big brother, Andy, is brilliant in her eyes. He’s a senior in high school, captain of the debate team, and the unrivaled orator of his class.

Tonight, he’s receiving the prestigious Tabor Award. Mellisa is so proud of him. She could never get up on stage and talk. He makes it look easy.

As the school auditorium fills, Mellisa begins to panic. Where is Andy? Why hasn’t he shown up for the award presentation?

Andy’s friend, Jackson, grabs her, and they rush out to search for him. What Mellisa finds at home—and what Andy expects her to do—is simply . . . beyond words.

Originally published by Viking in: Dirty Laundry.

Link to come.

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The Evil Eye

Young Adult

Ben is a fish out of water at his new school in Venezuela, thanks to his dad’s transfer to South America.

A girl immediately catches his eye. He names her Diosa. Goddess.

To his shock, Diosa invites him to go to church—deep in the mountains above the city, totally confusing Ben.

What happens in the mountains is the stuff of nightmares. Ben has clearly gotten in over his head.

How will he be able to save himself—and Diosa—when the powers against him are not of this world?

Originally published by Simon & Schuster in: Soul Searching.

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Second Culture Kids

Young Adult

Amina and Tomas. Tomas and Amina. True love, Amina thinks.

But her madre’s new American husband gets yanked home, due to unrest in Caracas.

Amina does not want to leave her home in Guanta. She does not want to leave her Tomas.

Arriving in Houston is like arriving on another planet. Amina is shocked by the size of the city, the number of cars on the road, and the way shops are open all day and all night.

How will she survive?

In Guanta, the rain is warm, always warm.

In Houston, the rain is cold.

And there is no Tomas.

Originally published by Candlewick in:

First Crossing: Stories about Teen Immigrants

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The Coup

Young Adult

Zach’s dad has moved the family into an apartment in Caracas, then gone off to his job in Punta Fijo—right before some dude decides to violently overthrow the government. Great timing.

Nothing like this ever happened back home in Denver. Dang, Zach misses Denver.

In spite of the warnings to stay inside, Zach is swayed by a few fellow students at Colegio Internacional de Venezuela to venture out for food.

Big mistake. Big, BIG mistake.

Originally published by Knopf/Random House in: Shattered: Stories of Children and War

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