Monday, December 23, 2013

Book Donation to Vets at Fort Bragg's Fisher House

Two of my author friends, Mary Flinn and Jane Tesh, teamed up with me to spread a little holiday cheer to the vets and their families at Fort Bragg's Fisher House. The Fisher House is a home-away-from-home for the families of vets who are receiving treatments. While there are Fisher Houses all over the country, I chose the one closest to Ft. Bragg because Mary, Jane, and I are North Carolina writers, and our books are all set in North Carolina.

On Saturday, Dec. 21, I delivered a box containing all of our novels to Fisher House representative Becky Kerr. That's her on the left - she's a Gold Star recipient, as is her husband. She volunteers at the Fisher House, which otherwise has a staff of one.

We met in Southern Pines, which was convenient to both of us that day. I was in the area for a family get-together, and she was finishing holiday shopping in nearby Pinehurst. You can read more about it, if you like.

It was a small gesture of thanks to our vets. I wish we could do more for them, but perhaps next year's donation will be bigger.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Good Reads Giveaway Link

Here's a link to the promotional giveaway of my new children's book, The Mermaid's Tale. It's on Good Reads, and there are only three copies, so head over there quick before the giveaway ends Tuesday evening!

Good luck, and Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Book Giveaway on Good Reads!

Enter to win a free copy of Mystery of the Lake House #2: The Mermaid's Tale, going on right now at Good Reads!

I've got more promotions lined up, so stay tuned!

Thanks!


Monday, December 16, 2013

Mermaids are real, says first book review for The Mermaid's Tale

The reviewer from BlogCritics.org is convinced mermaids are real after reading the second book in the Mystery at the Lake Houses series, The Mermaid's Tale, that I co-wrote with my young son, Will: 

Jock Avery and his neighbors at Long Leaf Lake, Chip and Lynna, are back in this second fun adventure in the Mystery at the Lake House series by Laura Wharton and her 11-year-old son, William.

Regardless of whether or not you read the first book in the series, Monsters Below, this book is a real treat not to be missed. The story begins when seven-year-old Chip is watching his 10-year-old sister, Lynna, and friend, Jock, racing sailboats. Imagine Chip’s surprise when he sees a mermaid in the lake and Lynna almost runs over it!

Jock is skeptical when Chip says he saw a mermaid, but Lynna thinks they should believe her brother. The three friends immediately begin trying to figure out how they can discover whether or not there is a mermaid in the lake — or as Jock believes, something else that made Chip think he saw a mermaid.

But Jock also has other things to think about besides mermaids. He’s deeply engrossed in reading the latest Sam Justice adventure book — which provides a story within the book’s story. And while he’s enjoying his summer visit with his grandparents at the lake, he’s frustrated when his parents come to visit and his father spends all his time on the phone talking about work. Will his dad ever find time to spend with Jock? And then there’s the summer swim team competition….

But those concerns soon take second place when one night Jock also sees the mermaid. Is she real? How is it possible that a mermaid could be inside Long Leaf Lake?

Young readers will enjoy discovering the answers to these questions. And parents will appreciate that along the way, children will learn about fish, how to prevent water pollution, and the importance of believing in our friends.

I promise that everyone, young and old, will be surprised by how this story ends. Explaining a mermaid is no easy feat, but authors Wharton and Wharton are not only up to the task, but they’ve had help from a real-life mermaid to carry off this story with grace and ease.

And that’s not all — besides the story itself, the book includes an interview with William about how he and his mother collaborate in writing their books. Additional “treats” include recipes for actual delicious treats enjoyed in the story by the main characters, a sneak preview at the next book in the series, Secret of the Compass, and best of all, an interview with the real-life mermaid who provided the Whartons with information for this book! Yes, mermaids are real. Don’t believe me? Then read this book. Whether you’re a kid, a parent, or a lover of mermaids, you’re sure to enjoy The Mermaid’s Tale.

For more information about The Mermaid’s Tale and the other Mystery at the Lake House books, visit the author’s page at Amazon.com.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Third Mystery Book for Children About to be Released

Just in time for Christmas! I'm excited to announce that the second book in the "Mystery at the Lake House" series is about to be released. This one is titled, "The Mermaid's Tale, " and if you ever doubted if mermaids were real, this is the book for you!

In the first story, young readers meet Jock Avery and his two new friends Lynna and Chip Woodward who have just moved to his lakeside community. Learning the values of teamwork and trust, the three work together to solve a mystery concerning an ominous sound that 7-year-old Chip thinks is the Lochness Monster!

In the second book, Chip is sure he's seen a mermaid in the lake where 10-year-old Jock and Lynna are sailing their little boats. The only problem is, nobody believes him - not even his friend, Jock! What's a boy to do? Find the mermaid, of course. That's exactly what the three pals set out to do in this tale.

Each book has an interview with my 11-year-old son, who helped me to develop characters, plots and the intriguing storyline that helps the characters grow.

The books have special projects for young readers to try, and recipes from the characters' tables that might be treats for readers, too. Throughout the books are threads of an adventure series that Jock enjoys, the plotline often running concurrent with Jock's own adventure.

Also, this book has an interview with a mermaid. The mermaid in the story was fashioned after my dear friend, Mermaid Linden of Mermaids in Motion, and I think readers will enjoy getting to know this fascinating creature who is often summoned to make dreams come true for children through the Make a Wish Foundation and other organizations and venues.

If you're looking for a memorable gift for a young reader, please consider "Monsters Below" and "The Mermaid's Tale". My goal with this series is to encourage young readers to become young writers.

You could be the one to help ignite their passion!

I'm going to have a book launch party on Facebook December 17 and I'd love for you to come, but you should be able to find it sooner at independent stores and online. It will be available in paperback and in e-book format, too! I'll let you know the day it's available! Promise!