About Me

I'm an author and arts administrator living in New England with my family and pugs. I'm also a caffeine addict and voracious reader. My latest middle grade fantasy novel, THE STAR SHEPHERD, is available now from Sourcebooks Young Readers!

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Oct
20
Sun
2019
3:00 pm Special Kids’ Event with MarcyKa... @ Books on the Square
Special Kids’ Event with MarcyKa... @ Books on the Square
Oct 20 @ 3:00 pm
Come see me and Sarah Jean Horwitz (DARK LORD CLEMENTINE) at Books on the Square in Providence!

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2018 – A Year of Extremes

This year has felt like several years all squished into one. So much has happened in my tiny corner of the universe (let alone the insanity going on nationwide in the political arena).

In many ways, it’s been an amazing year. Our little boy Logan is a toddler now. He learned to say his first few words (Mama, Dada, Dog, Wow, Tree, and more), and how to crawl, then walk (and run!). It is absolutely incredible watching him grow. On the writing side of things, this has been the best year yet. 2018 began with the launch of a new book (SHADOW WEAVER!). It even got starred reviews and was nominated for the New England Book Award and the Texas Bluebonnet (still pretty darn floored about this). My superhero agent Suzie sold not one, but TWO new duologies for me, meaning that for the next 3 years, I’ll have two books out each year (yes that’s kind of nuts, but also awesome and wow am I excited about it!). I even got my first ever royalty check – not a thing I’d expected to happen for a while, but a very, very welcome surprise!

But while all that was happening, some of the hardest things we’ve had to go through also happened this year.  I debated whether to include them in my year end post. I usually like to keep things upbeat here on the blog, but I also believe in transparency and leaving those challenges out felt wrong, even deceptive. Art is a part of life; we can’t create it in a vacuum. Traumatic events have ripples and impact. Yes, I had a ton of wonderful things happen–which I’m incredibly grateful for–but it was also a year filled with considerable loss.

[Trigger warning suicide and other traumatic events]

 

 

In the spring, my brother-in-law committed suicide. It was – and still is – devastating for the entire family and has left behind a hole that can never be filled. One of my first memories of meeting my husband’s family was at his brother’s 13th birthday party. It still just seems unreal that he could be gone.

On my side of the family, both my parents’ dementia came to light and had grim results. In September, my mom was hospitalized after being catatonic for 3 days before my dad realized he should call 911 (she had dangerously low sodium levels and a BP of 233/180 – and no, that’s not a typo). While she has mostly recovered in a physical sense, mentally she isn’t the same person she was even just this past summer. Now that she’s wheelchair bound and needs round the clock care, she’s moved into an assisted living facility. My siblings and I tried to convince my dad to move in with her, but he insisted he didn’t need it and instead chose to live alone at their house, hoping that she’d be coming home very soon.

The weekend after Thanksgiving, my dad suffered a massive stroke. It’s the nightmare scenario of having elderly parents who live alone. No one knew it had happened until my mom called me on Monday morning worried she hadn’t seen him all weekend. From what we can piece together, he was disoriented from the stroke and fell out of bed as he was trying to turn off the light on his nightstand. He was on the floor unable to move for at least two days before I found him. While that was certainly one of the most traumatizing events of my life, I’m so grateful I found him alive. He spent 3 weeks in the ICU before he was stable enough to go to a rehabilitation center, and soon he’ll go to a skilled nursing facility. He can’t speak or move one side of his body, but he knows we’re there and he can hug us with one arm and answer yes/no questions. It’s awful to see my once very active father like this, but really, it could have been far worse.

Finally, add to all of the above the fact that a kind elderly friend who has been a surrogate grandmother to me for the past 2 decades also passed away this fall, and it’s been one hell of a year.

So, if you’re reading this, hug your loved ones a little tighter, OK? 

 

Anyway, let’s end on a more positive note, shall we? Despite the hard times, there really were so many bright spots this year too. Here are some of my favorite highlights from 2018:

HOW DID 2018 TREAT YOU? WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN THE NEW YEAR?

BIRTHDAY BASH GIVEAWAY 2018!

Usually, May does not sneak up on me. But this year, I just don’t understand how it’s already my favorite month of the year. Wasn’t it January and snowing only yesterday?

Anyway, May is the best. It’s warm and sunny and it also includes my birthday (today!!) which means there will be lots of cake (and I really, really love cake). It also brings my annual tradition of throwing a little party here on ye olde blog to celebrate. 🙂 And what’s a party without your friends? And gifts?

This year I’m giving away two duologies!

1) Mindy McGinnis’s amazing YA fantasy duology, GIVEN TO THE SEA and GIVEN TO THE EARTH.

2) My own MG fantasy duology, SHADOW WEAVER and an ARC of COMET RISING (cover reveal coming soon!).

The giveaway will run from today through midnight EST Tuesday May 22, 2018 and is open internationally. One winner will be selected for each duology. So, grab a slice of cake, put on a party hat, and enter to win. Good luck! 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Please note: The COMET RISING ARC will be mailed to the winner once I’ve received them. It may be a few weeks, but it will get there, I promise!

SHADOW WEAVER is out today!

”Dark, yet dazzling.”
-Booklist, starred review

The new year is a time for new beginnings and I am so excited to be launching a new fantasy series for middle grade readers today with Shadow Weaver! Emmeline and her shadow, Dar, are two of my favorite characters that I’ve had the pleasure of writing, and I can’t wait for you to meet them and join them on their adventures.

Thank you so much to the amazing teams at Sourcebooks and New Leaf Literary & Media who have been 200% behind this book from the very beginning, especially my agent Suzie Townsend and editor Annie Berger. You are the absolute best and I’m so lucky to work with you!

And thank you to all the booksellers, bloggers, and librarians who read the book early. You helped make Shadow Weaver a Kids Indie Next Pick and a Junior Library Guild Selection. And of course, thank you to new readers – I hope you enjoy Shadow Weaver! 🙂


If you’ve already pre-ordered Shadow Weaver or read an ARC, thank you so much!

Learn more about Shadow Weaver

BUY THE BOOK:

Would you like a signed copy? You can order them through Porter Square Books here. Simply put “signed copy” and the name to make it out to in the order comments and I’ll sign your book before it’s shipped to you!

Shadow Weaver is also available through any of these retailers:

amazon bn indiebound indigo bam powells googleplay 


UPCOMING EVENTS:

I’ll be signing books at the following stores in January with more to come in February and March!

Shadow Weaver Launch Party
January 6, 2018 @ 3pm
Porter Square Books
25 White St
Cambridge, MA 02140

Shadow Weaver Book Signing
January 23, 2018 @ 7pm
Brookline Booksmith
279 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA 02446

Shadow Weaver Book Signing
January 26, 2018 @ 6pm
RJ Julia Booksellers
768 Boston Post Rd
Madison, CT 06443

Shadow Weaver Book Signing
January 27, 2018 @ 2pm
Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
413 Main St
Middletown, CT 06457

A Year for Renewal

2017 was a difficult year in a lot of ways, and I’m hopeful that 2018 will be much better. We have our newly expanded family to love, learn, and grow with, and I have lots of books to write (my “must-do” goals list is a wee bit longer than usual)! And if we’re lucky and all get out to vote in November, maybe we can correct the course the country is currently taking.

I’m keeping this post short and sweet this year (leaving me more time to write, of course), so without further ado, here are my writing goals for 2018:

MUST DO:

WANT TO DO:

MIGHT DO:

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR 2018? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS!

2017 – A Year of Endings and Beginnings

To say 2017 was an eventful year is an understatement. In some ways—especially the current political climate—it was catastrophically bad, and in others very good.

In my little corner of the world, we had ups and downs too. In April, we adopted a third pug, Teddy, but in September we lost our beloved Tootsie. It was a difficult month and it’s been hard to talk about it online, though I imagine some may have noticed her absence from my Instagram. She was our first dog and such a sweet little girl. We miss her every day. But the most wonderful part of the year was the birth of our son Logan. He’s brought so much joy to our lives and he’s such a good little boy. We can’t imagine our lives without him now and can’t wait to grow with him!

On the writing side of things, we announced a new book deal in the spring! THE STAR SHEPHERD is a heavily illustrated middle grade fantasy co-authored with the awesome Dan Haring (it will be out in Fall 2019!). And I reached all of my “must-do” goals but none of my “want-to-do” or “might-do” goals. Hopefully next year I’ll accomplish a little more!

Some highlights from 2017:

HOW DID 2017 TREAT YOU? WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN THE NEW YEAR?