Thursday, June 28, 2012

On a Roll: Another Work in the Works

Sometimes, my productivity surprises me. So far this year, I've released two children's books AND welcomed the second edition of The Pirate's Bastard with a lovely new cover, layout, and professional edits. Yesterday, I finished a 69,000+ word manuscript's final edits. Today, I sent it off to the publisher to start the review process. Today, I also started hunting around for my next project.

I'm either crazy ... or terribly antsy this summer. August comes with a new beginning - it always does - so I better make the most of "my" time over the next month and write another manuscript before school starts.

I have three projects in mind. The first should take about a week to complete, and it needs to be done. The second is an off-shoot of the first, the Jock Avery Adventures' hero leading the charge on an adventure intended for children who crave the kinds of adventures I had as a kid. (Thank you, Mom and Dad, and all my friends in Sherwood Forest -- you know who you are. You're fortunate you were nice to me--otherwise, you might end up in one of my novels!) Anyway, Jock Avery has been yammering at me all spring. Now, he and the other characters of the other children's book have been uncharacteristically silent so far. Maybe they need a break. Maybe they need to enjoy summer, as children often do.

Instead, there's a new character who is taunting me. She says her name is Julia. She was murdered. There's a garden and a historic home needing restoration. And a secret or two to unravel in this mystery for adults. I love a challenge, don't you?

Then there's the grant application to complete, a website to write content for, and a few other media-promotional things that are on the to-do list. Never mind that the grass needs to be mowed (where is a rent-a-goat when you need it?), the weeds that have won in the garden, or the kitchen that seems to always need a good cleaning.

Roulette, anyone?  (Sunny Harnett, super model of the 1950s, stands ready to take her chances.) I think I'll wait to see what tomorrow brings. How very Scarlet O'Hara of me.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

NC Reads Posts Wonderful Review of Book Co-written with Son

Hey, this is getting fun! NC Reads, the blog hosted by UNC-Chapel Hill, offered a nice review of Mystery at the Lake House #1: Monsters Below. I've shared it here!

Laura S. and William L. B. Wharton. Monsters Below. Mount Airy, NC: Broad Creek Press, 2012.

School is finally over, and vacation stretches ahead! Jock Avery has just finished fourth grade, and is looking forward to spending the whole summer at his grandparents’ lake house on Longleaf Lake in Moore County, NC. Jock has spent many happy summers there learning to swim, fish, water ski, and sail, but this summer he is a little sad. His busy parents won’t be able to join him much, and none of his cousins or friends will be able to visit. Jock figures he’ll be spending a lot of time with his favorite intrepid (fictional) adventurer, Sam Justice, when he discovers that a new family has just moved in next door: a single mom with two kids around his age!
Jock is excited to share the lake with his new friends Lyanna and Chip, but Chip is convinced there is a monster in the lake, and won’t have anything to do with it. Jock is sure there isn’t a monster in Longleaf Lake, but he has been hearing some strange screeching noises recently. Could there be a monster? Additionally, the kids have spotted their grumpy neighbor Mr. Harrison doing something mysterious out on the lake at night. If there is a monster…is Mr. Harrison feeding it? The trio decide to investigate, but their curiosity about what lies beneath the lake waters could end up with them in hot water. Or worse, eaten by a monster!
Co-authored by seasoned novelist Laura S. Wharton and her young son William, this first installment in the  Mystery at the Lake House series is a great chapter book for children ages 6-12. It also includes a wealth of information on bird watching for children, as well as recipes for some of the characters’ favorite foods.
Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Front Row Lit features Leaving Lukens

I am so pleased to share this link with you for Front Row Lit. The online magazine featured an excerpt from Leaving Lukens. Please visit their site when you have time.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

New Cover for The Pirate's Bastard Unveiled!

Isn't it lovely? A BIG thanks goes to Sonia Crouse for her excellent design skills, and to Fusion Creative Works for their interior layout help. I LOVE the new look of this second edition of The Pirate's Bastard! It's just been released, and is available through independent bookstores everywhere as well as through Amazon, me, Barnes and Noble, etc. It will be available for e-readers in a few days.

Sharing Midwest Book Review of Mystery at the Lake House

I was tickled to get this review from Midwest Book Review this week. It's for one of my children's books--the one I wrote with my 10-year-old son!

Mystery at the Lake House #1: Monsters Below is the first book in a series for kids ages 7-12 about super sleuth Jock Avery and a strange scary noise in his lakeside community. Jock enjoys a healthy variety of nature and water activities with his friends, but solving a mystery will always intrigue him. This fun three-dimensional character is destined to get into and out of interesting scrapes as he uses logic and observation skills to help him put together the missing pieces of the mystery of the monsters below. The action is fast moving, the character development is riveting, and the pace is humorous and jolly, plus there are many educational inclusions in the book and story. Kids will love Jock Avery and his pals and will clamor for the next book in the series.

Thank you to the kind folks at The Midwest Book Review! What's more, the review is being sent to the Helen C. White Library's Cooperative Children's Book Center, where it will be available to school and community librarians throughout that state's public school systems and community libraries. It's also being provided to the Cengage learning, Gale interaction CD-ROM series "Book Review Index" which is published four times a year for academic, corporate and public library systems.

This book and my other titles are available through independent booksellers everywhere, Amazon, and for e-readers. Thanks, friends, for spreading the word about my books! If you have contacts in your local public school or library system, please let me know and I'll approach them about carrying my books. Thank you!