Mandatory Stats: Bachelor's degree in Communications, loves to read and write, wife, mother, experience in journalism and freelance writing, bla bla bla . . .
Now for the FUN stuff:
In high school I won first place at the state science fair by drugging spiders.
I have a three octave range and sang in Notre Dame while touring Europe with the Utah Ambassadors of Music.
I used to be a redhead, but after having kids, my hair turned brown, now I use henna and pretend.
CASSIE VS THE CURSE
50,000 word MG Fantasy
Stage: Round 2 developmental edits
After living through the car accident that killed her dad, 12-year-old Cassie Neibar treats her PTSD by trolling geeky fan sites online. When she is cursed with the ability to read minds, Cassie learns firsthand the consequences of unkind words.
Overwhelmed by panic attacks and racing thoughts, both hers and others, Cassie distances herself from her friends. But geek extraordinaire, Savannah, is always on the lookout for people in need and won’t let Cassie eat lunch alone. With Savannah’s cheery outlook literally echoing in her mind, Cassie stops trolling and tries to do good with her new powers.
When the girls discover Savannah was one of Cassie's online victims, Cassie loses the only friend she had left. At the same time, the curse increases in power, giving Cassie blistering headaches that grow more intense daily. Cassie is sick of knowing everyone's secrets. She's sick of mean thoughts, and most of all, she's sick of being alone. She’s certain that if she can obtain Savannah’s forgiveness they can break the curse together, but first she’ll have to prove she’s no longer a troll.
ONE SMALL STEP FOR BEVERLY ANNE RYAN
50,000 word MG historical fiction
Inspired by the first lunar orbit, 11-year-old Beverly Ryan desperately wants to grow up to be a scientist, but even on days when she remembers to do her homework she has to work and ask questions in school. She’s not sure she’s smart enough to stand alongside Marie Curie and other genius women who broke tradition to join men in the field of science.
Beverly’s uncle tells her she needs to do two things to achieve her dream; get good grades in advanced math and win science fairs. If she does that, she’ll prove she’s smart enough to call herself a woman scientist. But when she fails to place in her first science fair, Beverly questions whether or not she has what it takes. She’s not the only one questioning her worth. The junior high math teacher says he doesn’t want girls in his advanced class. Now, Beverly will have to find the grit to fight the math teacher and take another crack at the science fair, all while battling a propensity to forget her homework, and her own self doubt.
PS: All the stock images I could find featured little boys pretending to be astronauts, apparently we STILL have work to do!
Working Title: PRINCESS FROGGY
47,000 word MG Fantasy
Emmie's grandmother proved to the kingdom how tough princesses really are by founding the save yourself trials. For the last fifty years, princesses have proven their worth and their kick butt skills in the trials. Now that it's Emmie's turn, she's not sure she can cut it. How will she prove herself worthy when she's too little to wield a sword and too awkward to notch an arrow? She might end up stuck in the dragon's lair forever.
THE WATERMELON APOCALYPSE
48,000 word MG fantasy
Stage: SHELVED (This didn't feel like the best story to query during a pandemic.)
When cancer rips Grandma away like a weed plucked from the garden, 10-year-old Chloe Johansen is certain that plant magic has died with her, until she finds the instructions left behind.
Desperate to learn magic and honor Grandma in the process, Chloe uses magic to cheat and win first place in the town watermelon growing contest.
Everyone loves Chloe's delicious watermelon, but that night, Chloe's best friend Maria shows up with watermelon vines growing out of her ears and wrapped around her body. Within minutes, Maria is left with the personality of a plant, an invasive plant bent on forcing Chloe to swallow a watermelon seed. And Maria isn’t the only one; everyone in town tasted Chloe’s watermelon. Anyone who swallowed a seed is now controlled by parasitic watermelon plants. Now, Chloe must master Grandma’s magic and find a cure before the watermelon plants take over the town, and then the world.