Mandatory Stats: Bachelor's degree in Communications, loves to read and write, wife, mother, experience in journalism and freelance writing, hoping to find my place in traditional publishing, 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.
As a kid I was nicknamed "the absent minded professor" because, despite doing well in school, I always misplaced things, lost track of time, and had a messy desk.
ONE SMALL STEP FOR BEVERLY ANNE RYAN
58,000 word MG historical fiction
It’s 1968 and Beverly Anne Ryan is desperate to prove herself a genius. Inspired by the space race, science is the only future that could make Bev happy and, as everyone knows, only genius women can handle that kind of career.
Unfortunately, Bev has a lot of obstacles between her and genius status. First, she loses the science fair, then she fails math (geniuses have to do homework?), and finally the junior high math teacher refuses to allow girls in his advanced class.
It’s starting to feel like Bev isn’t a genius and maybe she’s only ordinary. The kind of ordinary that spends all night gazing at the stars. The kind of ordinary that fights injustice. The kind of ordinary that fesses up and fixes mistakes. But all this fighting and failure has left Bev wondering if her goals are even possible.
Bev better change her views on what ordinary girls can do before she gives up hope, loses to the evil math teacher, and grows up to be anything other than a scientist.
Inspired by my mother, who conquered the evil math teacher, won the science fair, and became the first woman to graduate with a bachelor's degree in physics from the local university.
THE WATERMELON APOCALYPSE
48,000 word MG fantasy
For as long as she can remember, ten-year-old Chloe has been waiting for Grandma to teach her Plant Magic, but then cancer rips Grandma away like a weed plucked from the garden.
Now, the only way to learn magic is by following Grandma’s instructions. Except, Chloe can’t find where Grandma hid them. . . and the family is moving. . . and magic only works when you’re happy, which Chloe definitely isn’t, or maybe she is.
Happiness is a lot more complicated than Chloe ever realized, but when she uses Grandma’s magic seeds to grow a winning entry into the town’s watermelon-growing contest, she thinks she's finally figured it out... until the fruit turns people into watermelon zombies!
Chloe has a lot to learn about magic, grief, and zombie battles, and she’d better learn it quick before the zombies spread their seeds and take over the world!
Working Title: TOO SWEET
60,000 word MG historical Fiction
It's 1922 and twelve-year-old Grace has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She could fall into a coma and die any day. The only thing prolonging her life is the starvation diet, a treatment that resembles torture more than medicine.
Determined to thwart fate, Grace and her Irish twin sister Esther search for a cure. Along the way, they are shocked to discover they had an uncle who died from diabetes in 1901.
Confused about why no one ever discusses their uncle, the girls continue the search as Grace's condition progresses. Afraid of being forgotten, Grace makes Esther promise she'll keep her memory alive just as rumors of a cure reach their Idaho homestead. Determined to save her sister, Esther finds the address of the Toronto hospital where doctors are administering the cure.
Neighbors, family, and sisters join in a fight for Grace's life, but Esther has a dangerous secret. She doesn't want to tell anyone about her increased thirst and never-ending appetite until Grace is taken care of, but what if that's too late? And if it is, who will remember Grace and Esther?
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.
60,000 word MG Fantasy
Ever since the accident that took her dad's life, all twelve-year-old Cassie wants is to be a brat online. Not because she enjoys torturing people, although the reactions are pretty funny, but because trolling is the only thing that distracts her from racing thoughts, looming panic attacks, and memories of her dad.
Then, a magic troll curses her with the ability to read minds. Cassie is even more convinced that people suck, until geeky do-gooder Savannah decides to be her friend. Savannah’s friendship changes everything. Maybe trolling isn’t so great. Maybe therapy is worth a shot. Cassie knows she’ll never be the same, but maybe she can heal. Then, the girls discover that Savannah was one of Cassie’s online victims, and not even Savannah wants to be friends with a troll.
Now, unless Cassie finds a way to earn Savannah’s forgiveness and break the curse, she’ll go back to being a miserable bratty troll forever.
Amber Mae Marcusen
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