When you live in a town as small as Smithville, sometimes your last name means people don’t give you much of a chance.
Gary Westmorland is a good kid who tries to avoid trouble (though there was that fire alarm incident). The problem is, everyone knows his dad is Bryce Westmorland, a man who can’t seem to stay out of trouble. When people look at 10-year-old Gary, instead of seeing a boy who tries his best, they see trouble waiting to happen.
Everything is about to change, though, when an alien named Martin shows up and asks Gary the question: “Come on, kid. You want to save the world or not?”
Adventure follows as Gary, his cousin Collin, and their new friend Martin set out to stop Mavis, an evil alien from another dimension, and her hoard of dragons. Gary will soon learn that he is the only one who can wield the weapon that will stop Mavis from taking over our universe, but fear and self-doubt threaten to stop him.
Author Q&A: Who have been your favorite authors as an adult?
Michael Crichton. When I was a teenager, Crichton was at the height of his popularity. I enjoyed reading many of his books, especially those with more of a SciFi flair. That carried into adulthood. Unfortunately, he passed away a few years ago but the books his estate has released since his death have been fun to read too.
CS Lewis. I didn’t read Narnia until I was in college, but I love the stories Lewis tells in that collection, as well as his Space Trilogy. Till We Have Faces is probably my favorite work among his fiction. I have also benefited greatly in my spiritual life from his non-fiction.
Ray Bradbury. I read Fahrenheit 451 as a high school assignment, and picked up Something Wicked This Way Comes on my own soon after. As an adult, though, I’ve come to enjoy his short story collections such as The Martian Chronicles (which inspired a work of my own called Of Stars and Space) and The Illustrated Man.
Fredrik Backman. I think Beartown may have been the first Backman book I read, then I went back and picked up some of his “older” writings like A Man Called Ove. There is something about his storytelling and style that resonates with me. He is on the short list of authors from whom I will purchase a new book without even reading the description.
How about you? Who have been some of your favorite authors? Drop a comment below. Also, if you have a question for a future Q&A about writing or books, I would love to hear it.
He loves his son and longs to be a good dad, but he’s afraid he doesn’t know how.
When Daniel first met Meredith, he was an awkward teenager who was abandoned by his mother and raised by an uncle who struggled to show him love. Smoking pot and singing along with The Smashing Pumpkins helped him to drown out his feelings.
Fast-forward twenty years, and Daniel is struggling to raise his teenage son on his own and break free from his drug addiction. When he hits rock bottom, living in a car and digging for meals in dumpsters, he decides that placing his son back into foster care is the only way to give the boy an opportunity for a better life.
With his son placed as a foster child in Meredith’s home, Daniel reconnects with his old flame. But will it set him on a path toward healing and reunification, or will it give him an excuse to disappear into the demons of his addiction forever?
So what, if he was laying on the floor, staring over his brow at the TV, with a string of drool dangling from his mouth, while he wore pajamas with just one sock? Sounds normal… for a ten-year-old boy.
Ten-year-old Callum is good at mazes and video games and, well, not much else. His dad was a star high school baseball player, and his mom and sister are pretty good at basketball. Ask Callum about sports and he’ll tell you, “I’m as athletic as a sloth.” People expect him to be good at more, but since it’s not sports, he’s not sure what that’s supposed to be.
Until one day, he has to stay home from school sick. He ends up watching a baking show with his mom, decides to try baking, and discovers that he is actually pretty good at it.
Callum gets the idea to secretly leave surprise treats around his school with the help of his best friend, Ryan, even calling himself Captian Cookie! The Secret Baker! But when the school bully finds out, will his secret remain a secret?
They were in love but that seemed a long time ago, a different life. Abused and neglected, Meredith and her brothers spent much of their childhood in foster care. Now she’s a single mom of a teenage boy and foster mom to another, trying to juggle work, children, and dating. Abandoned by his mother, Daniel was raised by an uncle who struggled to show him love. Now he’s an addict warring against himself as he fights not to fail a son of his own. When Daniel’s son is placed as a foster child in Meredith’s home, the two are reunited but what will that mean for them and their families? Until Summer is a story of love and a longing for hope as two people battle the traumas of their pasts in search for a brighter future.
Please note: Though not graphic or explicit, this book deals with trauma and has scenes of abuse, assault, and suicide, which could trigger traumatic memories in some readers.
Know a child who loves to read? My kids’ book The Secret Baker is available this Friday and Saturday (2/26-2/27/21) for free on the Kindle. It’s geared toward ages 8-12ish. Check out the blurb below. You can find the book here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08F21R4RW