Saturday, July 25, 2009

Why Bully Dogs?

Why Bully Dogs? Some people might find the title of my latest book a little funny. That’s because it is! “Bully Dogs” is another name for types of pit bulls and bull dogs. These dogs weren’t actually named after the human bullies we think of—though their tough appearances and secretly soft personalities often match real bullies!

According to, bull dogs got their names because they used to “guard, control and bait bulls.” Not exactly an easy job!

In my middle-grade novel Bully Dogs, there are two types of bullies: girls like Marcy who hurt Fran with words, and the real dogs— Aramis, Porthos, and Athos—who chase Fran to school. When Fran talks to her mother about Marcy, the bully from school, her mother tells her, “You’ll have to face her, or someone like her, the rest of your life. You can’t just wish your problems away…because they come back at you like rabid dogs.”

Fran wants to avoid the bullies in her life—the human and the furry ones! But she begins to get tired of her problems chasing her around. The only way to face a bully is to stop running! And, well, you'll have to finish the novel to find out what Fran does!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

More From Inside My New Book!

In my last blog entry, I shared with you a little bit about my new middle-grade novel, Bully Dogs. The last novel I wrote, Forcing the Hand of God, was for adults, so I didn't have the chance to work with an illustrator. This time I was so excited to see the illustrations artist Phyllis Emmert created for Bully Dogs!

Here are just a few sample illustrations…but you’ll have to read the book to see them all!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

First Peek at My New Children's Book!

Youth fiction has always been a huge passion of mine, so I’m very excited to give you a first look at my newest book, a middle-grade novel called Bully Dogs!

“My mom’s wrong. These are not my best years, and I seriously doubt I’ll look back upon my childhood as the happiest days of my life.”

Meet Frances (Fran) Reed. She’s already got a mom like Henry the VIII (known for head-chopping, though in Fran's case, it's more like daughter-nagging). Throw in a fierce ring of girls making sixth grade less than perfect, and to top it off, three even fiercer dogs that turn Fran’s walk to school into an episode of Animal Planet.

Luckily, Frances Reed is about to learn she’s a lot tougher than she thought. The question is, what’s harder to deal with: bullies or bully dogs?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Art Imitating Life

One of the things I love about historical fiction is that it's a portal to real people and places. The Golden Gloves is an actual boxing tournament in Chicago! (I don’t have that good of an imagination!) If you happen to be in the Chicago area, you might even be able to catch a match! Click here to see The Golden Gloves’ site (and stop by the online store to pick up your own varsity jacket!).

Friday, July 17, 2009

Major Motion Picture

Pardon the pun (I couldn't resist!).

I'll admit I've done some daydreaming about Forcing the Hand of God as a movie. There are some brilliant actors out there, and I'd love to see Rodger and the rest on the big screen.

So, cue the drumroll; here's my dream cast list:

Major Rodger Brown . . . . Liev Schreiber or Viggo Mortensen
Ada . . . . Meryl Streep
Adele . . . . Hilary Swank

Adele would be the hardest to cast, but I think Hilary Swank could embody her strength and independence, and her sense of humor. Anyone know of an actor who could make a better Adele?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Book Signing on July 23!

It's officially summer, I've got a new young adult book coming out—Bully Dogs—and I'll be doing a book signing for Forcing the Hand of God on July 23!

Come join me at Auntie's Books in Spokane, WA, on July 23 at 7:30 pm! I'll be reading from Forcing the Hand of God, holding an audience Q&A, and signing copies of my book.

Auntie's Books is a great bookstore that's been around since 1978. Check out their Web site here.

Hope to see you there!

PS. I'll have more news about my latest book coming up!