Post-High School Reality QuestPost-High School Reality Quest by Meg Eden

Summary: Buffy is playing a game. However, the game is her life, and there are no instructions or cheat codes on how to win. After graduating high school, a voice called “the text parser” emerges in Buffy’s head, narrating her life as a classic text adventure game. Buffy figures this is just a manifestation of her shy, awkward, nerdy nature—until the voice doesn’t go away, and instead begins to dominate her thoughts, telling her how to life her life. Though Buffy tries to beat the game, crash it, and even restart it, it becomes clear that this game is not something she can simply “shut off” or beat without the text parser’s help. While the text parser tries to give Buffy advice on how “to win the game,” Buffy decides to pursue her own game-plan: start over, make new friends, and win her long-time crush Tristan’s heart. But even when Buffy gets the guy of her dreams, the game doesn’t stop. In fact, it gets worse than she could’ve ever imagined: her crumbling group of friends fall apart, her roommate turns against her, and Buffy finds herself trying to survive in a game built off her greatest nightmares.

What a unique, wild ride of a book! Buffy’s story of trying to find her way after graduation lends itself perfectly to the format of a text adventure game. Buffy must navigate a barrage of choices about who she is and who she wants be, examine and reexamine relationships with friends and family, and somehow keep remembering to save. The book is full of witty touches that will make geeky readers laugh out loud; my favorite is the fact that Buffy has nicknamed her backpack “inventory”, so whenever she puts an item “in her inventory”, that’s where it goes. Buffy’s quest is not without disappointment and heartbreak, and the reader will be rooting for her to fight her way through.


View all my reviews

Posted in Read This, Reviews | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Women in the Business Panel Podcast

Back in May, I was honored to participate in a panel about the experiences of women in publishing, media, and broadcasting at Balticon 51.  The other panelists were NuchtchasLisa-Anne Samuels, and Veronica Giguere, and John Walker moderated. You can hear the panel now on the Nutty Bites Podcast.  Prepare to hear stories from the trenches, good and bad, as a diverse group of women talk about what it’s really like to fight for recognition of their creativity and heard work.

Posted in On Life, On Publishing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Read This!: POPPY MAYBERRY, THE MONDAY by Jennie K. Brown

Poppy Mayberry, The Monday (Nova Kids #1)Poppy Mayberry, The Monday by Jennie K. Brown

Summary: What if your teacher could read your mind just because she was born on a Thursday? Or the kid next to you in class could turn back the clock just because he was a ‘Wednesday”? In the quirky town of Nova, all of this is normal, but one thing is not—Poppy Mayberry. As an almost-eleven-year-old Monday, she should be able to pass notes in class or brush her dog, Pickle, without lifting a finger. But her Monday telekinesis still has some kinks, and that plate of spaghetti she’s passing may just end up on someone’s head. And if that’s not hard enough, practically perfect Ellie Preston is out to get her, and Principal Wible wants to send her to remedial summer school to work on her powers! It’s enough to make a girl want to disappear…if only she were a Friday.

Poppy Mayberry isn’t thrilled when she’s sent to summer school to master the telekinetic powers she’s supposed to have as a kid born in the town of Nova on a Monday. And she’s even less thrilled when prissy, stuck-up Ellie, who has Thursday mindreading powers, ends up as her roommate. But when scary Headmistress Larribee kidnaps Poppy’s precious dog, Pickle, as part of a challenge, Poppy and Ellie have to team up, along with dreamy Logan and smart Sam, to find the precious things that have been taken from them and win the chance to go home early. Full of funny moments and most of all full of heart, Poppy’s story perfectly captures that middle school moment when everything in life seems to be in flux.


View all my reviews

Posted in Read This, Reviews | Tagged | Leave a comment

Playing Catch-up

How has it been over a month since I last posted here?  There’s been a lot going on.

In late May, I got to geek out at Balticon.  Sword and Verse was a finalist for the 2017 Compton Crook Award, presented at Balticon, so it was exciting to connect with readers!  I spoke on 2 panels: “SFF Resistance” and “Women in the Business”, and got to hang out with Meg Eden, author of Post-High School Reality Quest.



I spent most of May and June working furiously to finish revising the sequel to Sword and Verse.  (I swear I’ll be able to announce the title soon!)  It’s now turned into my editor, and it’s a big, scary, exciting book that I am truly proud of.

In mid-May, I attended Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. – it’s a great big ball of fun!  I spoke on a panel about worldbuilding in fantasy and sci-fi with Meg Eden, Tobie Easton, Lisa Maxwell, and Nik Korpon.  What a huge, fantastically engaged crowd!

The crowd at the Awesome Con worldbuilding panel. Wow!


More exciting stuff that happened this month:

The cover of the Spanish translation of Sword and Verse was revealed.  Isn’t it a beauty?

The Spanish title, Tinta y Fuego translates to “Ink and Fire”.

I also got to see the draft cover of the first book in my “Little Hands Signing” baby board book series, Nita’s First Signs, and it is wonderful.  The series comes out from Familius Press in 2018, and I can’t wait to share it with families!


And coming up:

On Tuesday, June 27 at 1 PM, I’ll be doing a reading and Q&A at the Towson Library in Baltimore County, MD.  Hope to see you there!

The following week I’m headed to Los Angeles for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators national conference.

And hopefully I’ll put in lots of words on my next work in progress!  Isn’t summer supposed to be relaxing or something?





Posted in Sword and Verse, Upcoming events, Young Adult Fantasy | Leave a comment

#Giveaway! #Wettbewerb!

Goodreads #Wettbewerb! Politik, Linguistik, Küssen: Mache mit und gewinne eine unterschriebene Kopie von FEUER UND FEDER. Internationale Teilnahme.


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Feuer und Feder by Kathy MacMillan

Feuer und Feder

by Kathy MacMillan

Giveaway ends July 18, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway


Posted in Contests and Giveaways, Sword and Verse | Leave a comment

Next Week: Nerd Camp NJ!

I’m on my way to Nerd Camp NJ next week, and I hope you’ll join me!

Nerd Camp NJ is an EdCamp “unconference” with an exclusive focus on literacy instruction. It appears with the hashtag #nErDCampNJ as a means of emphasizing the capitals E & D for EdCamp. All attendees come to Nerd Camp to present and attend workshops for FREE. Click here to check out the lineup of great picture book, middle grade and young adult authors attending!

Saturday, May 20, 2017
8:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Chatham High School
255 Lafayette Avenue
​Chatham, NJ 07928

Register here!

Community Book Signing 12:30-2:00 PM:  Over 60 authors will be participating in the author meet and greet at Chatham High School on May 20th from 12:30pm until 2:00pm. The authors will spend the morning presenting panels and workshops to K-12 teachers, administrators, librarians and pre-service teachers from the New Jersey area, and they’ll be available to the entire community for book signings in the afternoon. Barnes and Noble in Morris Plains will be holding an in-store book fair the week before on Saturday 5/13 so young readers can purchase books prior to the day of the signing. Staff from The Curious Reader bookstore will be selling books at the event.



Posted in Upcoming events | 1 Comment

Join Me at Artomatic this Saturday!

This Saturday at 7 PM, I’ll be appearing at Artomatic, Crystal City, VA’s DIY arts festival, for Character Building in Fantasy alongside adult fantasy author Daniel M. Ford.  Hope to see you there!

Vornado/Charles E. Smith | 1800 S. Bell Street
Crystal City, VA

Character Building in Fantasy

Saturday, April 29 at 7 PM

Worldbuilding is fun, but someone’s got to live in that world, and compelling characters will make readers want to stay put. Join Daniel M. Ford, author of The Paladin Trilogy (Santa Fe Writers Project) and Kathy MacMillan, author of Sword and Verse (HarperTeen) for a lively discussion on selecting the right characters to tell your story, and how to make fictional people seem real.

Posted in Sword and Verse, Upcoming events | Leave a comment