Here’s wishing a very happy and peaceful Thanksgiving to all!
It is the absolute BEST thing to receive messages like these from my young readers! And, it’s even better because I have good news for them – The answer is YES! I am currently working on Book 2 of The Adventures of Shelly Beach series. I’m about half way through!
This one has a giant hermit crab and a MerDog!
Stay tuned in 2023!
It’s time for my annual self-promotion, hopefully just in time for your holiday gift-giving. If you have any book lovers on your list, try out one (or more) of my books this year! I’ve seen some delays in shipments of hardcopy books, but e-books won’t have any delay and are perfect for last minute gift-giving. I have adult-themed books about my time working as an intelligence officer in the CIA, and I have children’s books that have nothing to do with the CIA – both picture books and a new elementary-grade chapter book series, just begun this year! My books are available online anywhere books are sold, and are likely in some brick and mortar stores (authors always love it if you request their books in brick and mortar stores because then the stores will order copies!).
My first book, Single in the CIA, is a comical memoir of my life in the Directorate of Operations of the Central Intelligence Agency. It takes you through my adventures as a young, single woman in the intelligence world, and focuses only on my personal relationships while I was there – no work talk! It’s meant to be fun, but it ends up being sort of sad, if you realize that the book is set in the “premier spy agency”. Kind of disturbing, actually. This is the book I am most known for, and it began the series of books that I have now written, and continue to write.
My series, Mingling in the CIA, takes readers into the lives of officers in America’s premier spy agency. These short novelettes each focus on an actual real person I knew at the Agency, and takes the reader on a (hopefully fun) journey into their lives. I am currently working on the latest in this series, where you will meet a new character!
Mission: Stand Down, is a true-to-life spy thriller – my most controversial book yet. This one had the censors up in arms! It is highly redacted, but I still think you can get the gist of the book and it is one of my best.
Mommy Thinks She’s a Monster is a touching children’s picture book about moms and motherhood written from the perspective of a young child, who only wants their mommy to be present in their life. This was my first children’s book, and it was so much fun to do. I worked with a great illustrator, Paul Sewell, on this one – he was a delight to work with and he really brought my idea to life.
The Lemon Seed is a children’s picture book about thriving in adversity and flourishing, even in dismal circumstances and environments. This was my Covid shutdown project. In the very beginning, when we were the first in the country to be shut down and masked (Washington state had us beat on the first shutdown), I decided to challenge myself and see if I could illustrate my own book. It might not be perfect, but it is meant to look “homemade” and I’m really glad I did it.
A Manatee Miracle, the first in The Adventures of Shelly Beach elementary-grade chapter book series, takes young readers on adventures in the Florida Keys with a magical paddle boat. This book kicks off my newest series – this time for young readers. With this series, I hope to introduce kids to the wildlife of the Florida Keys that I was so lucky to grow up surrounded by.
Happy Reading & Happy Gifting!
Did you know? Manatees have what researchers call a “prehensile snout”. They can use their upper lips individually to grasp vegetation – almost like the trunk of an elephant (their closest living relative).
I know where to find a magical manatee…..
This manatee fact was brought to you courtesy of savethemanatee.org/facts.
Did you know that manatees have 3-4 nails on each flipper – one thing they have in common with their closest living relative, the elephant! These nails don’t serve a specific purpose, but they may help reduce abrasion on the manatee’s flipper when the manatee “walks” on the bottom.
This manatee fact was presented courtesy of savethemanatee.org/facts.
“Dad said something about runoff from the street? I think he said something about fertilizer, oil and other chemicals.” He shrugged. “I don’t know what that means though.”
What is “runoff”?
In my latest book, A Manatee Miracle, I aim to teach our youngest readers about ocean life and ocean health – but in a non-preachy way. I’ve seen the effects of runoff in the ocean firsthand. As a child in the Florida Keys I witnessed the death of much of the life in one canal in a span of less than ten years. Manatees are just one of the victims of human carelessness.
You can help prevent manatee mortalities as well as harm to our oceans and other sea life. Runoff, such as sewage, manure and fertilizer enters waterways and causes algal blooms, some of which can be fatally toxic to manatees, and can kill grass beds that manatees rely on to eat.
What can you do to help?
Purchase environmentally safe products. (I know this is easier said than done, but there are many alternatives to the harshest of chemicals available in stores these days. It’s worth a shot.)
Properly store and/or dispose of toxic materials and do not discard waste in storm drains.
Use fertilizers sparingly and consider using a compost for yard and food waste.
Sweep up areas instead of hosing them down.
Check vehicles for leaks and properly recycle motor oil.
Take your car to the car wash instead of washing it in your driveway.
Pick your weeds instead of spraying weed killer chemicals that end up in the oceans and waterways.
The good news is, I have seen improvement in the canals of the Keys too. With a little bit of knowledge we can help bring life back to waterways that have been hurt.
Book One in The Adventures of Shelly Beach is making quite a splash! All across the globe, young readers are discovering the magical islands of the Florida Keys and learning about its wildlife…
This is why I love what I do. Seeing our youngest readers excited about reading and learning about the ocean and wildlife – so worth it. Already excited about book two in The Adventures of Shelly Beach series – I better get writing!
A Manatee Miracle – Pre-K and second grade approved!
What better day to launch my latest book than Biodiversity Day 2021!
Today is the official launch of my latest book, A Manatee Miracle. The first installment in The Adventures of Shelly Beach series, A Manatee Miracle introduces us to Shelly Beach and her family as they move to the Florida Keys. A friendly manatee leads Shelly and her brother Sunny to a magical paddle boat and on to save the fragile environment they have come to love. #ForCoral #ForNature
It’s an elementary-grade chapter book for new, young readers. The print copy comes in large font, to assist those computer-strained eyes. With so much being done on the screen these days, I know firsthand how much damage can be done to eyesight.
My hope is that the series will teach young kids the value of wildlife, nature and the ocean in a fun and magical way.