A stint as a Paradise Cruise Lines employee on a luxury ship bound for Hawaii was supposed to put cash in his pocket so that seventeen-year-old Shy Espinoza could court a girl and help his mom pay bills, not set him adrift at sea for 36 days in a small sailboat, battling hunger and dehydration, baking in the relentless summer sun, and slipping into schizo territory.  When he and his companions—Carmen, Marcus, and Shoeshine—finally arrive on Venice Beach, they are ready for a hot meal, some protection from nature’s elements, and a reunion with their families. Instead, they encounter the ruined coastline of California causedRead More →

Life is a physics lesson, and each of us plays a part in both weaving and repairing the fabric of the universe.  Both particles and waves of energy link us, bind us, protect us, and remind us that we a part of that tapestry.  These are the lessons that Wendy Mass discloses in her latest installment of the Willow Falls series, Graceful. In this book targeted for ages 8-12, readers will reconnect with familiar characters: Angelina D’Angelo, Grace, Bailey, Amanda, Leo, Rory, Tara, Connor, and David.  The latter seven comprise Team Grace, the guardians and advisors for the next Willow Falls Protector.  In a multi-genre format—with inventor’sRead More →

Growing up isn’t easy. It never has been, and it probably never will be. High schooler Jason is just trying to make it to eighteen with as little trouble as possible, which is difficult when you have an abusive small time drug dealer for a dad and a little sister to look after. But Jason knows how to fight back; there isn’t a day that his dad comes at him that Jason doesn’t give as good as he gets. His tough kid reputation has made sure that no one at school messes with him. He makes money doing odd jobs around the city, saving upRead More →

Although aspects of social media possess the ability to provoke intense debate, for seventeen-year-old Sonny (Sonya) Elizabeth Ardmore, an online world serves as a refuge – a place for hope and healing.  Behind the protection of the computer screen, Sonny–who sees herself as the designated poor and less attractive friend–discovers a place to restore her dented dignity and a buffer that allows her to be honest and close rather than using lies as a shield. While IMing her antagonist Ryder Cross, she abandons the lies and lets her guard down to discuss the subjects that trouble her the most: estranged relationships with her negligent mother and convictRead More →