Gold Mom’s Choice Award for Leaving Kent State


I’m happy to report that Leaving Kent State has been chosen for a Gold label designation in the Mom’s Choice Awards. You can get your copy by visiting the Mom’s Choice Awards store here. Much love to everyone who has … Continue reading

Leaving Kent State Wins Gold


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I’m feeling a little Olympic today, as yesterday it was announced that Leaving Kent State has won a 2017 Moonbeam Children’s Award Gold Medal in the Young Adult Historical Fiction category. Independent Publisher magazine runs the awards, which are “intended to … Continue reading

Young Adult Romance – Is the Crush Over?


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YA Romance– For several years now, I’ve been hearing a lot of chatter about YA romance, as if the whole idea of romance is undesirable. Romance has become that thing, the guilty pleasure that no one wants to admit they like … Continue reading

Two Upcoming Events

IMG_4267I will be participating in the Beaver County Bookfest on Saturday, September 9, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (1600 for you military types). I’m looking forward to meeting book lovers from the region and see my good friends, authors Stephanie Keyes and Joshua David Bellin. I hope to see you there!

I will also, along with my usual partners in crime, Stephanie and Josh, be presenting in a workshop from our wonderful Western Pennsylvania SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). Along with author Leah Pileggi, each of us will be presenting for an hour on different areas to hone your manuscript during revision. I will be speaking on the neuroscience of how our brains react to fiction, and what authors should do to maximize the brain’s ability to engage with story. The workshop will be held on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University on Saturday, September 23, 2017. For more information, visit Honing Your Manuscript and Heading to Success


I have a new poem in the war issue of The Pedestal Magazine. This is a poem based on a true story. My dad really did find a dog in the Philippines and he really did name her Zero. He writes about her in his letters home, and, when he lost her as he did in the poem, he and a guy named Whit from his unit buried her. Then, one day as they were passing her grave, they put flowers on it for her. That pretty much says everything you need to say, I think, about the young men we sent to the Great War.

Teen Book Club Event at Barnes & Noble

I’ll be leading a teen book club event at the Barnes & Noble Homestead (at the Waterfront, 100 West Bridge Street, @BNPittsburghWaterfront) on Wednesday, July 19th, at 7:00 p.m.

I hope you can join us to talk about writing, reading, and historical fiction. Copies of Leaving Kent State will be on sale and I’ll be signing. Join us if you can!

Learning to Read in College and Beyond


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This morning, Thomas L. Friedman had a truly insightful piece in The New York Times asking Where Did ‘We the People’ Go? In it, Friedman quotes his former teacher and friend, Dov Seidman, who states that “What makes us Americans … Continue reading

Mother’s Day 2017


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Our children take us places we can’t envision when they are a bundle of cells commingling with our own. When we feel them kick inside of us for the first time, we think only of the wonder of life, so … Continue reading