Sunday, August 16, 2015

New release: Seeds of Hope, Gold Rush Diary

Cover design by Cody Rutty
Hello everyone! I'm happy to announce a new release for
Seeds of Hope: The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild, California 1849.  This sequel to Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie is for readers 10-16 and was originally published by Scholastic for the Dear America series. Now available in paperback and as a Kindle e-book, it includes an historical note and e-links to a Teacher's Discussion Guide and Author Interview.
   I hope you enjoy Susanna's adventures in the wild camp of Miner's Creek: danger, heartbreak, and the joy of family and new friends.

Friday, August 14, 2015

New releases: Hope's Revolutionary War Diaries 1-3

Five Smooth Stones
We Are Patriots
When Freedom Comes
Red, White, and Blue! I'm happy to announce the re-release of Hope's Revolutionary War Diaries #1-3, for young readers 7-10 years old. Originally published by Scholastic for the My America series, they're now available on Amazon, as an e-book and in paperback. Handsome new covers designed by Cody Rutty.

For research, I made several trips to Philadelphia and Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. I love writing about Colonial America because some of my ancestors served in Washington's army -- and some fought for the British.  The character of Miss Sarah is based on Betsy Ross, and the setting is on the cobbled street where she lived.

I hope you enjoy reading Hope's diaries as she describes school, a forbidden friendship and serving enemy soldiers when they quartered with her family.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Pulitzer Winner in Boise

Boisean Tony Doerr
You heard right.  Boise.

Our community is extremely proud of our neighbor, Anthony Doerr, winning the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for literature for his novel, All the Light We Cannot See.

Congratulations, Tony!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Manhattan Beach Library

My home town! In the 60s, the library in Live Oak Park was a favorite refuge. A few of us neighborhood kids started the Manhattan Beach 4th Street Book and Snack Club. That wasn't its official name, but that's how we thought of it. We rode our bikes to the pier then up the hill to the library where whispering--quiet whispering--was strictly enforced. There we roamed the stacks until we each found a book to check out, its plastic cover then crackling against our handlebars as we rode home, fast, because of the treats that awaited us. It was the best part of the club, eating our snacks while looking out at the ocean. Though we rarely discussed the stories we read, we sure had fun.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A children's bookstore, still going strong

With Theodore Taylor, 1992   
This morning on Facebook I saw this illustration about reading, posted by the Frugal Frigate Children's bookstore.  Boy, does it brings back happy memories. 
     In 1989 Katherine Thomerson owned the Frugal Frigate in Redlands, California and hosted my first, of what would be many, signings there.  This charming bookstore was in an old brick building around the corner from a bakery where she bought a basket of large sugar cookies every morning.  Whenever we stepped inside her shop, a tiny bell jingled over the door and she greeted the kids by name, offering a cookie.  "Here, have another," she'd say.  My boys adored her.
     When Jenny of the Tetons arrived from the publisher, Katherine phoned me at our apartment: "Kristi, they're here!"
     We raced downtown. 
     I hadn't yet seen the books, only the cover.  So when I pulled back a flap of the carton and saw the real thing, twenty hardcovers stacked so pretty, I got choked up.  They had that wonderful aroma that goes back to the first day of school when we'd put our noses inside our brand new textbooks.  Katherine handed me Kleenex, the boys hugged me, strangers cheered.
    At one Frugal Frigate signing I shared a table with Theodore Taylor, the venerable author of fast-paced adventures.  A World War II vet, he helped with the movie Tora! Tora! Tora!, based on his book Air Raid--Pearl Harbor! 
     I'd long been a fan so I was star-struck, but he put me at ease and we became friends.  The Hostage, about killer whales being trapped near Vancouver for a marine park, stirred my boys with compassion for these wild animals, and The Trouble With Tuck, about a good ol' dog inspired our family to get a puppy.  We have a shelf of his books with personal notes from him.  In 2005 he sent his memoir, Making Love to Typewriters, inscribed, "Dear Kristiana, Such a pack of lies!  Love, Ted."
     His kind words for my writing encouraged me to keep going.

From Longhand: One Writer's Journey

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Memoir is here!

Hello readers! 
I'm super excited to tell you my memoir, Longhand: One Writer's Journey, is finally available. Yay!
The most common question readers ask is, "Where do you get your ideas?" so herein lie the answers.  I hope these behind-the-scenes of book writing might inspire writers starting out and those who love the magic of words.  I've jotted a few memories from writing for the Los Angeles Times and also Scholastic, the world's largest children's book publisher: the rejections, heartbreak, joys, and beloved editors.  My privileged career has been intertwined with motherhood, the richest adventure of all.

I hope you enjoy the journey!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

MEMOIR, almost there!

#1 A Journey of Faith

Hello, readers! 
     We've almost finished editing, proofing, and adding photos to my memoir, which has gone from Working-title to Real-title:  Longhand: One Writer's Journey.  I'll post here when it's published, so please stay tuned.  Thank you for being patient.
     Meanwhile, we've updated sixteen books.  Most of them have wonderful new illustrations by Cody Rutty, and all have fresh matte covers, the kind that are nice to hold and don't slip off your lap.  
     Here are the Prairie Rivers--I hope you enjoy them!

#2 A Grateful Harvest
#3 Winter Tidings
#4 Hope Springs Eternal

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Jimmy Spoon and the Pony Express

Hello everyone! After a gazillion reader requests, I'm happy to announce a nice new paperback and kindle edition for Jimmy Spoon and the Pony Express.   I hope you like it!!
    It's a continuation of the true story of Elijah Nicholas Wilson, the Mormon boy who ran away to live with the Shoshoni Indians in the mid-1800s.  This story opens in Salt Lake City when Jimmy sees an intriguing ad in the newspaper:
     "Wanted: Young, skinny, wiry fellows not over 18.  Must be expert riders, willing to risk death daily, orphans preferred.  Wages $24 a week ..."
     And no one is more qualified than Jimmy.  He had lived with the Shoshoni for years and had learned their ways.  No white boy could ride like Jimmy Spoon.  But fifty miles a day isn't an easy ride -- even for him.  And the trails are dangerous.  Living conditions are primitive; there are outlaws, angry tribes, blistering heat, and below-zero winters.  And all along, Jimmy yearns to return to his Shoshoni family, especially to rekindle his friendship with the lovely Nahanee ...

** "Terrific ... " - VOYA.
** "Exciting ... those who have not read Legend will certainly want to do so after finishing this one." - School Library Journal

Look for Longhand: One Writer's Journey, to be published Spring 2015

Thursday, January 8, 2015

STALKED: Danger and Furry, Ellis Island 1912

Good morning, reading friends!  I'm happy to show you the new cover for
Stalked: Danger and Furry, Ellis Island 1912, showing clipper ships in a foggy New York Harbor.  It's available in paperback and on Kindle.  I hope you like it!

** Awarded the GOLD MEDAL for Young Adult Mystery from Literary Classics.
** Kirkus Reviews calls it "An atmospheric confection that will thrill YA readers...Gregory achieves a realistic, rich atmosphere with insightful details about the immigration process and New York tenements in the early 1900s."
      When Rikke Svendsen, a 15-year-old Danish servant arrives at Ellis Island in 1912, she realizes that a fellow passenger on her voyage across the Atlantic -- whose advances she had spurned -- is stalking her. In the chaos of immigration and trying to flee him, she gets stranded in New York City instead of being able to meet family in Racine, Wisconsin. Relieved to have eluded the man, she finds work in the tenements as a seamstress for a film company and struggles to earn money for a train ticket north. Meanwhile, through letters and telegrams, she learns that mysterious accidents are befalling her loved ones in Racine with deadly results. As Rikke pieces together clues, frantic for her beloved Viggo, she seeks to unravel what or who is behind the terror.

Look for Longhand: One Writer's Journey, to be published Spring 2015.