What I’ve Been Reading

Posted by on Jul 26, 2017 in What I've Been Reading | 0 comments


Delightful fan art of Monty and the love of his life, Percy.

Or rather, listening to–a stunning audiobook, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (such a great title) by Mackenzi Lee, and narrated superbly by Christian Coulson.

It’s the 1700s, and Lord Henry Montague–Monty to his friends, of which he has many–is a rake. A charming and delightful rake, who loves wine and cards and women and boys and who won’t let anything, including his stern father, get in the way of a good time. Especially if the good time involves his best friend, Percy.

Monty and Percy are off on their grand tour of Europe, and Monty is determined to make Percy fall in love with him by the time they head back to England. Events intervene, of course, as they always do, and there’s a villainous French duke and a spooky Catalan alchemist and some truly marvelous pirates, plus a tender and hilarious love story. The ending contains some supernatural elements that I had a bit of a hard time with–I was quite prepared to accept that these 18th century characters believe in alchemy, but startled to discover that alchemy actually works. Still, I’d forgive any author anything for the relationship between these two boys, who flirt and fight and break each other’s hearts from England to France to Spain to Italy. Can’t wait to listen to it all over again.

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Plesiosaurs On Bookshelves!

Posted by on Jul 18, 2017 in Ancient Animals, BOOK: Plesiosaurs, Reviews | 0 comments

51wu7pRcNPLIt’s here! The latest in the Ancient Animal series, Plesiosaurs, releases today. Not the Loch Ness Monster–these are the real thing. A early reader with clear, simple language describes the hunting habits, family life (Did they look after their young? Where did they lay their eggs?), and eventual extinction of these dinosaur relatives. Fun and fascinating!

(Check out Terror Bird and Saber-Toothed Cat for more prehistoric delight.)

Reviewers say:

“Thomson describes in short sentences and simple language how plesiosaurs hunted, got about with their flippers, gave birth to live young, and succumbed at last to an extinction event 65 millions years ago. Details both tantalize (the “smooth stones” in a plesiosaur’s stomach “may have helped to crush food”) and enlighten through concrete example: “Some plesiosaurs were only a bit longer than a broomstick. Some could’ve stretched halfway across a basketball court.” Plant juices up the presentation with dramatic (labeled) portraits of thrillingly toothy predators leaving trails of blood in the water as they eat and are eaten.
Tempting fare for young dino-devotees.
Kirkus Reviews

“Thomson brings a third book in the series to life with an entry on the plesiosaur. A title worth purchasing to round out a prehistoric animal collection.”
School Library Journal

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The Secrets the Seven

Posted by on Jul 12, 2017 in American History, BOOK: The Eagle's Quill, Book: The Eureka Key, Historical Fiction, Race, Secrets of the Seven, SERIES: Secrets of the Seven | 0 comments

Living descendants of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence recite it!These folks seem like characters from The Secrets of the Seven. If we cast the movie, this is what it might look like. (Except we’d need to add in some kids, of course.)

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Print Bookstore July 22nd

Posted by on Jul 7, 2017 in Ancient Animals, BOOK: Plesiosaurs, Book: Quick Little Monkey, Events | 0 comments

printlogoPrint is a relative newcomer to the Portland bookstore scene. (For a small town, we’ve got a very high proportion of restaurants and bookstores. This is something I really appreciate in a city). And they are superb. I love their selection, their beautifully curated kid’s section, and the events they host, all with writers I’d like to become my new best friends.

I’m very honored to be showing up at an event there myself in the near future! If you’re in and around Portland, Maine on July 22, drop by Print  at 11:00. I’ll be signing copies of Ancient Animals: Plesiosaurs and Quick, Little Monkey, and there will be a scavenger hunt among the stacks. We’ll all have a blast.

Quick, Little Monkey!


Where: Print Bookstore, 273 Congress St.

When: Saturday, July 22, 11:00

Why: for books and fun!

For more info: (207) 536-4778


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Deadly Flowers Wins Wisconsin Award!

Posted by on Jul 7, 2017 in Book: Deadly Flowers, Educators & Librarians, Japanese Demons, Ninjas, Reviews | 0 comments

Deadly Flowers

Giddy dancing and excitement around here, because Deadly Flowers has won the 2017 Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla Award, given by the Wisconsin Library Association for “distinguished achievement in children’s literature!”

So delighted. I’ll get to go to a library conference in the scenic Wisconsin Dells and speak to numerous sagacious and exceptional librarians. Can’t wait!

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Deadly Wish Reviews

Posted by on Jun 26, 2017 in Book: Deadly Wish, Japanese Demons, Ninjas | 0 comments

jkt“In the face of mounting challenges, a ninja is torn between her mission as guardian of a magical pearl and loyalty to her friends. In this sequel to Deadly Flowers (2016), Kata finds herself in Madame Chiyome’s clutches again, the very person who molded her into the stealth warrior she is today. Kata soon learns that she is up against far more than Madame Chiyome’s wrath…. Even though a true ninja must always act alone, Kata must trust her friends: Jinnai, a thief who professes his love for her; Otani, an ex-samurai-turned-bandit; and her ninja sisters…. As her mission nears its climax, Kata faces an epic battle alone…. Kudos to Thomson for a well-researched story with plausible characters in a fantastical world reminiscent of 16th-century Japan. Jam-packed with thrilling action and hurtling plot twists—readers may forget to breathe.”
-Kirkus Reviews

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Twelve Truths I Learned From Life and Writing by Anne Lamott

Posted by on Jun 13, 2017 in Inspiration, Writing Process | 0 comments

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes. Including you.”

“Every writer you know writes really terrible first drafts, but they keep their butt in the chair.”

“Go outside. Look up. Secret of life.”

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