When Thomas opened the refrigerator in search of milk, the only thing he saw was an enormous block of government cheese, a nearly gelatinous rectangle of off-brand Velveeta. In his mother’s latest spiral into insanity, she believed that God appeared to her in a grilled cheese sandwich. He had a hard time imagining why God would choose fake cheese as his communication medium. If he were going to speak through a dairy product, wouldn’t he pick something with a bit more panache, like say Brie or Camembert?
The Rules of Loneliness
BOOKS & STORIES
NEW! "Ten to No"
(published in Peregrine)
A border control agent's job of turning away refugees has left him jaded. Rather than focusing on the needs of each applicant, he raises a mental smokescreen as his thoughts drift to his next cigarette. During the ten minute countdown to no, we learn more about the agent than the refugees he describes.
(published in Bedtime Stories)
Stick to the path,
Still the troll's wrath.
Set off to roam,
Never come home.
Maddi knew the warning well.
Maddi didn't listen.
When Maddi heads off into the Forbidden Forest in search of her very first troll, she gets a little more than she bargained for. The wind warns her. The trees watch her. The stream lulls her into a stupor, and when she awakes, she finds herself deep in the heart of the woods. Unable to determine her location, she climbs to the top of the rocky ridge to gain a better view, right onto the head of a slumbering troll.
Maddi soon learns that some trolls are kind, some trolls are wise, some trolls have a sweet tooth, and little girls are as sweet as can be.
The Spy Who Grounded Me
(novel excerpt published in the Undiscovered Voices 2018 anthology)
Winning entry in the 2018 Undiscovered Voices competition!
Eleven-year-old Ian can’t access repressed memories through hypnosis by frosted doughnut, so he takes a more drastic approach and gets in trouble to prove his dad’s a spy. But someone at Seattle’s Alki Elementary thwarts his investigation. Is it Ian’s nemesis, Fiona Fairweather? Or is the betrayal closer to home? When his dad attends the all-school assembly, Ian has a plan to blow the case wide open, if he doesn’t blow up the school first!
"Appearances" and "Guests for Dinner"
(aired on Ara City Radio's 26/10/2017 Happy Hour -Ghouls Night Out)
Just in time for Halloween! Host Wendy Winn and the Lux Writers Who Talk group present scary, creepy, and just plain gross works of microfiction in 100 words or less, including my two pieces, "Appearances" and "Guests for Dinner".
"Our Monstrous Family"
(published in Volume 1 Issue 2 of The 3288 Review)
Nominated for the Pushcart Prize!
When Nate and Mark agree to adopt two young brothers from the foster care system, their decision may just come back to bite them. Soon after the boys arrive in their home, five year-old Andy and three year-old Ben begin to exhibit strange behaviors that Mark believes have only one explanation. They must be vampires.
Unsure how to proceed, Mark and Nate develop a series of comical tests to determine if their new kids come with underworldly baggage.
Caffeinated Press (US)
Dragons Need Bacon
(middle grade novel)
No one in Mersch expected twelve year-old Mikael Barthel to amount to anything, but landing in the middle of town atop a dragon tends to change all that. You see, there weren’t supposed to be any dragons in Mersch. Generations of townsfolk believed that the last of the dragons had disappeared long ago. The dragons’ home in Mersch Wood had been considered a no man’s land ever since. No one went there, ever, until Mikael decided to go for a stroll one day.
But there are two sides to every story.
The dragons of Mersch Wood believed every last human had been scared off. The town of Mersch was supposed to be a ghost town in the middle of a poisoned valley beyond repair. That’s what a young dragon named Frybert believed until he ran into a boy in the woods.
Together, Mikael and Frybert set off to discover the truth. Their secret quest sends them groping through hidden passageways, sneaking through a well-guarded castle, and crawling into the heart of the dragon lair. What they find is proof of the greatest trick of all time—a trick so masterful that humans and dragons lived side-by-side for generations without even knowing it—but the secret gets out and tensions rise fast.
Faced with the prospect of a new war, Mikael and Frybert decide to play a trick of their own. It will take all of their cunning and skill to fool both sides again, but in the end these two misfits may be exactly what the inhabitants of Mersch and Mersch Wood need to learn to live in peace.
Dragons Need Bacon is complete.
Seeking representation. Agents and publishers may request a sample by clicking on the button below.