Some Excellent (Belated) News

A nonfiction project has kept me so busy that I have rather badly neglected my blog. So, without further ado, here is some belated but really fine news.

First of all, my good friend Aud shared something quite exciting: not only did she get a really good review from Kirkus, but that august publication also made her an offer it makes to only a select group of Indie-published authors! Go, check out her blog and find out. My other news can wait.

If you haven’t already gone to Aud’s blog, here’s more: she also revealed the cover for her second “Winnie and the Wizard Book.” And I love it even more than the cover to Frama-12! Is that a Frama-scope I spy? And…perhaps even a time-tear??

I’m so tempted to ask Aud if I can post that cover, but I want you to see it for yourself along with her cool Kirkus news. (This is not a spoiler: I’ve read an earlier draft of Hutra even before Frama-12, and that’s where I became so very fond of Winnie and her companions.)

My second (or is it third?) bit of news: the next Enola book is out: Enola Holmes and the Elegant Escapade! (Truth be told, it came out just two days after Aud posted her fun blog; this is an embarrassment of riches.) I loved this latest Enola adventure! Lady Cecily appears for the third time, and I think I enjoyed this book even more than her second appearance. There’s such a wealth of great characters, old and young, and Enola (my favorite as always) is in fine form. Elegant, even. It was a treat to read. (Just don’t read it as your first Enola book. Start at the beginning!)

My Very Own Copy

So, here’s a number of things to celebrate and I’m happy to share them. I urge you to check them both out if you haven’t already.

Frama-12 Release and Review!

Frama-12 by Aud Supplee steps out into the world today!

I was delighted to be given an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review. Full disclosure: anyone who’s read my recent posts will know I can’t claim to be objective in this review – I’ve known this book since it was a kid! But I will do my utmost to be honest.

So, here’s my honest opinion: I just finished Frama-12, and I enjoyed the heck out of it!

Here is a quick summary (from the book cover and the author’s website):

Winnie Harris, following a warrior code in honor of her mother’s fighting spirit, will do whatever it takes to protect her little stepbrother, Mikey. Kip Skyler, charming to everyone but Winnie, impresses her stepbrother with his sleight of hand. Now Mikey wants them to pass through a time tear into Frama-12 and save the inhabitants from an invasion. She’ll be the general and Kip the wizard.

Winnie sees two problems with the mission. Frama-12 is just a fantasy game, right? And Kip is majorly annoying. But she’s only half right. If the incompatible teens can’t work together, an enemy could march through a very real time tear and attack Earth.


To really enjoy a book, I have to like the main characters – mostly, at least. Winnie and Kip are like most teenagers, and most people in general: at times they can be exasperating, and at other times, deeply sympathetic. I came to care about both of them early on. As for Mikey, he’s an adorable little kid who tugged at my heart strings and made me laugh – and sometimes he’s unnervingly mature. But, unlike some other precocious kid characters, Mikey has a very good reason for this. He tells Winnie about it early in the story, but she doesn’t really believe him at first. He’s just her little stepbrother, right…? (Well, yes and no.)

As Winnie soon finds out, Frama-12 is home to a host of new, strange creatures and peoples. Some are alarming, some benign, some funny – and some of them a mix of all of the above. Winnie has to learn which can be trusted and which to beware of. Meanwhile, she’s confronted with a myriad of new sights, sounds, smells and tastes. She gets help in navigating all this from some unexpected sources—if only she can ease up and listen to them.

In trying to live up to her mom’s spiritual courage and determination, sometimes Winnie feels she has to be too independent, too strong. And that can make her downright stubborn at times. But over the course of the book, she learns more about what true courage looks like.

By the end of the book, there are some mysteries and unanswered questions – but I have it on good authority that there will be another book of adventures with Winnie, Kip, and Mikey. Hurrah!

This book is light and a lot of fun, but it also deals with some serious issues, like loss, separation from loved ones, and the challenges of stepfamilies. The story deals with these issues with warmth and heart. I highly recommend it for Young Adults and the Young at Heart looking for a fun contemporary adventure into a rather wacky world. It’s a great summer read.

So if you’re ready for adventure, Frama-12 is available from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and independent bookstores.

And if you happen to be in southeastern Pennsylvania, you can meet the author and get your book at a signing with her on Saturday, August 6th!

If you’d like to read my interviews with Aud, you can read them here, where we interview each other about anthologies we’re in and other fun stuff, here, where we talk especially about conferences we went to, and here, where Aud talks about earlier publications and her general writing process.

Congratulations, Aud! I’m so pleased Frama-12 is out in the world where readers can enjoy it!

Updated! Publication News for Frama-12

My friend Aud just shared this good news: her fantasy novel Frama-12 is now available for pre-order on Amazon! Update as of May 7th: you can now also pre-order the e-book and paperback on Barnes and Noble and the paperback on Bookshop.org! All sites have the same prices for the same formats.

Frama-12 is a fun, light-hearted YA fantasy with depth and heart. If you’ve read my blog recently, you know I’ve read this novel since it was a youngster of a book, and I’ve watched it grow up in our critique group. The characters Winnie, Mikey, and Kip have won my heart, made me laugh, made me worry, made me cheer.

Here’s how Aud describes it:

“Winnie Harris, following a warrior code in honor of her mother’s fighting spirit, will do whatever it takes to protect her little stepbrother, Mikey. Kip Skyler, charming to everyone but Winnie, impresses her stepbrother with his sleight of hand. Now Mikey wants them to pass through a time tear into Frama-12 and save the inhabitants from an invasion. She’ll be the general and Kip the wizard.

Winnie sees two problems with the mission. Frama-12 is just a fantasy game, right? And Kip is majorly annoying. But she’s only half right. If the incompatible teens can’t work together, an enemy could march through a very real time tear and attack Earth.”

I am so excited to read Frama-12 in its grown-up form! It comes out July 13th, 2022 and I’ve already reserved my copy. Like I’ve said before, I kind of feel like a proud aunt waiting for my niece and nephews to step out on stage for their big debut.

You can read about Aud’s adventures on the journey toward publication with Wild Rose Press on her blog. It’s been an exciting ride to follow!

Frama 12 Cover Art

“Alternate worlds? Alien armies? Summer vacation just took a wild turn.”

Holiday Gift Ideas 2021

Like the last two years, I want to post some ideas for mid-winter gifts. This year, to do my personal utmost to fight the pandemic and still support bricks-and-mortar and small businesses, I’ve mostly avoided crowded shops and post offices and instead ordered online. As always, my favorite gifts to give are books, and I ordered all these from my local indie bookstore.

But Christmas is fast approaching. If you have a local indie, check with them to see if they have time to get your books by Christmas. Or you can use Barnes & Noble – their website notes if you order by Dec. 20th you can get books shipped just in time with express shipping.

These are the books I’ve gotten for my loved ones – and some for myself!

my own copy

For picture-book lovers of all ages: The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper. The text is a poem from the Christmas Revels, and celebrates the return of light into the darkest of times. I love this poem so much I bought a copy of the book for myself.

For young middle-schoolers: Stuntboy by Jason Reynolds. Full disclosure: I haven’t read this book, but I was greatly impressed by the book Stamped Jason Reynolds co-wrote with Ibram X. Kendi, and by hearing Jason talk at a book-signing. Also, his description of the book was so charming, I knew I wanted to get it for my nephew. Here’s Jason’s description of Stuntboy aka Portico Reeves: “he’s awesome. He’s got a hightop fade, a cape, a cat, a grandmother, a best friend (which has been hard for me to get used to because I thought I was his best friend) and lives in a castle. Most importantly, he has a super power.”

my advance copy

For young adults and older: For All Time by Shanna Miles. This is a great story of star-crossed lovers meeting and being parted across time, with vivid glimpses into times past and some excellent twists. I feel honored to have gotten an advance reader’s copy, and hope to post a more full review in the new year.

my own copy

Also for young adults and older: Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche by Nancy Springer. One of my favorite books of the year – I highly recommend it for anyone who has read all the previous Enola Holmes books. For fans of Sherlock Holmes, Victorian mysteries, and the Enola Holmes movie – I highly recommend starting with the first book, Enola Holmes and the Case of the Missing Marquess.

Photo Provided by Laura Selinsky

For adults young and old: Whitstead Christmastide edited by Abigail and Sara Falanga. A collection of short stories set in a Dickensian village where the veil between worlds is thin, and wondrous things can happen. I read one of the stories as my friend Laura Selinsky was polishing it, and that inspired me to buy three copies, one for myself. I am reading it presently, and it is warming my heart.

For animal lovers: All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. The wonderful stories from the life of a Yorkshire veterinarian; if you’ve seen the excellent adaptation on PBS, know that the stories are even richer.

For more ideas, I invite you to see my blogposts from 2019 and 2020.

May we all celebrate the light, and share it.

Good News from a Writing Friend

My friend Aud recently shared this splendid news: her novel Frama-12 is going to be published by The Wild Rose Press!

I have read Aud’s draft of this novel and I loved it. The characters Winnie, Mikey, and Kip made me laugh, warmed my heart, aggravated me, and made me tense with worry during their exploits in a wild, wacky world. I can’t wait to see their story shine out from the covers of a book!

Aud talked about this book in our joint blog about the writing conferences we took part in. And you can read about her process of getting Frama-12 out into the world on her blog, where she’s in the midst of chronicling the journey.

Aud, I’m happy to be along for the ride!

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