Book: Deadly Wish

Look What Turned Up…

Posted by on Apr 7, 2017 in Book: Deadly Wish | 0 comments

IMG_8834…in my Easter basket–galleys for Deadly Wish! The bunny was here early this year!

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Ninjas In the Stacks!

Posted by on Feb 17, 2017 in Book: Deadly Flowers, Book: Deadly Wish, Educators & Librarians, Events, Japanese Demons, Ninjas, Promotion | 0 comments

IMG_2390-1024x768My awesome publicist, Kirsten Cappy of Curious City, has created a thrilling ninja activity for bookstores and libraries! Readers will become book ninjas as they use their wits and dexterity and perhaps a card catalog to uncover clues and solve puzzles and perform challenges. Great, fun, and active–fabulous for grades 5-10. Check it out!

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Mean Girls and Elementary School

Posted by on Jan 11, 2017 in Book: Deadly Flowers, Book: Deadly Wish, Childhood, Writing Process | 0 comments


So it happened a while back. Probably it happens to most kids eventually. My daughter was friends with a Mean Girl. You know, there were the promises of friendship and the gifts and the insults and the “I won’t play with you if you don’t do what I say.”

I told my brother and he yawned and said, “You can’t choose your kid’s friends.”

I told my writers’ group and we spent a good twenty minutes reviewing who said what to whom and hashing out the power dynamics. I mean, it’s material, people.

I promise, I don’t try to fight my daughter’s social battles for her, despite heavy temptation. And who knows, maybe this other kid’s mother also thought her daughter was friends with a Mean Girl. Probably they will both go to college despite all of this and grow up to live productive lives.

But I wonder–is it even harder for those of us who create children’s literature to keep that bit of distance that lets our kids become themselves? I swear, I had to bite my tongue when my girl came home from school so I didn’t ask breathlessly, “What did she do TODAY?” Oh, the bitter politics of the playground, the crushing anxiety about whether a friend of today is a friend for tomorrow, the dance of who sits next to whom. It’s not just my memories–it’s my work life. I take a pen in my hand and relive it over and over again.

(In my latest book, however, I made my main character a ninja who can solve social issues among her peer group by kicking people in the head. So there.)

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Happy Holidays!

Posted by on Dec 16, 2016 in Book: Deadly Wish, Ninjas | 0 comments

jktThere’s a wind chill of -23 outside, so here’s a little gift to lift your spirits this chilly holiday season: a quick peek inside Deadly Wish, the upcoming sequel to Deadly Flowers:

Once inside, I shut the door behind me and stood still. It was really the kind of job I needed a dark lantern for, but that would have been too much to smuggle into the house and keep hidden from Goro’s watchful eye. The clothes and the knife had been difficult enough.


I would have to complete this task without using my sight. I closed my eyes, so that I would not distract myself by straining to see. My other senses opened up, like night-blooming flowers. Hearing sharpened. My sense of smell heightened. My skin tingled with eagerness to touch.

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