Friday, June 17, 2016

Happy Dad's Day

Today I want to honor my first pardner in life. My Dad used to say during our summer travels, "See that wheat field? Notice that there's always one that sticks out above the crowd." He taught me to be that one.

I dedicated IN TODD WE TRUST to him, saying, "Thanks for always blazing such a bright trail for us." Here's to all the dads out there, doing the best they can to be present in their kids' lives - doing it right!

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Galaxy Trail

Welcome to the second stop of The Galaxy!

This trail is based on the YAmazing Race with MGnificent Prizes presented by the Apocalypsies. In THIS trail, you’ll find all kinds of posts, and discover new authors and their work.

How do you play? Every post contains information that will lead to killer prizes! Books, swag, skype sessions, locks of hair (jk jk)! At the end of each blog you’ll find a link that will take you to the next stop in the trail. By the end, you’ll find a quiz. Submit your entry to the quiz for a chance to win a grand prize! Accuracy matters here, so take your time, or go back and refresh your memory! One quiz entry per trail.

About me:

I'm the author of BY THE GRACE OF TODD (Razorbill/Penguin-paperback edition out Jan. 8, 2015) and its sequel, IN TODD WE TRUST (St. Patrick's Day, 2015). I grew up in the midwest, often the only girl in my neighborhood, which was okay, because when we played Star Wars, I always got to be Princess Leia. I now live in southern Kansas with my big family and a very noisy parrot.

Here are the answers to the questions I got for The Galaxy Trail:

Me as Mongee Poo-minus the radiated sludge.

Favorite Costume?

My favorite costume is this one of me as the Dragon Sensei character Mongee Poo. He’s a green Japanese snow monkey that shoots radiated sludge out of his nose and shouts, “HOO HOO HOO HI-YAH!”

If your MC went trick or treating, what would they dress up as and why?

Todd is obsessed roleplaying characters from the Japanese anime series, Dragon Sensei, so he would be Emperor Oora, the evil salamander ruler of the planet Fernsopi. He’s already made the wicked awesome costume complete with a poison mushroom necklace that shoots green smoke from the BoomShroom’s mouths!

If your villain went trick or treating, what would they dress up as?

Max “The Behemoth” Loving would go as himself, and he’d tell you that he’s scary enough as he is.

What’s the grossest thing you’ve ever eaten on a dare?

I was dared to eat dog biscuits in fourth grade, and of course I did. The grossest thing I’ve ALMOST eaten would have to be fried worms. No one dared me to do it – it was a personal goal after reading HOW TO EAT FRIED WORMS. I got the butter-fried nightcrawler into my mouth, but to my everlasting shame was too grossed out to chew.

What scares the pants off of you?

I’m petrified of popping noises of any kind: gunfire, fireworks … balloons are the worst. I was in a play in college where three flash pots went off around me every show for a two-week run. Thankfully my character was supposed to scream. 

What is your dream subject to write about?

Horses. As a girl, I read every horse series I could get my hands on. I still love them and have a daughter who gives riding lessons. One of these days…

Do you legit believe in ghosts and things that go bump in the night? (We won’t think you’re cray)

I certainly believe in spirits, both good and evil. And I believe your spirit or “ghost” can materialize after your body has died (think the witch of Endor summoning Samuel.)

What is the worst prank you’ve ever pulled?

I’ve already confessed this for Anna Staniszewski’s THE PRANK LIST contest, so why not? In middle school, we were dissecting frogs and I snuck a frog lung into my foe’s macaroni at lunch. But I was so scared she’d get sick or die that I told on myself.

Would you rather be covered in slime or blood?


What magical/supernatural creature so you secretly want to be?

Pegasus, because, yanno, horses. But I’m not keen on heights, so I’d better say Unicorn. I’m thinking that horn would make me klutzier than I already am, skewering things here and there. So I’ll go with fairies, because I love flowers. As long as I don’t fly too far off the ground.

What is your favorite paragraph/sentence from your novel?

I like reading this one at school visits because the kids really react to it: “Lucy lifted the sock to her nose, sniffed it, and jerked back. ‘That is definitely the most odious odor I have ever inhaled.’ She shut her eyes and licked her lips, like she was flavor testing or something. ‘A disgusting and musty blend of mushrooms, mildew, and damp dog produced by your dead skin tissues mixed with moisture.’ Lucy took my hand and shook it. ‘Congratulations. It’s so dirty, I bet you could grow a plant from it.’”

Thank you for participating! But before you go, I’m giving you a bonus contest, open to U.S. & CAN only. Enter your orneriest prank (or one you think would be great to play on someone) in the comments below. I'll pick a random winner who will receive a personalized copy of the book, a signed poster, and a bookmark!

Thanks for playing along! Here's the next stop on the Galaxy Trail:

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

STOMP Out Bullying with these Bs!

When I visit schools I talk to students and hand out flyers that discuss ways to stop bullying. Since October is the time when schools emphasize bullying, I thought I'd post the six Bs I'll be sharing with students this week.

BE who you ARE!

The BRAVEST thing you can do might be to get help.

Remember, bullies have BACKGROUNDS. (Bullies aren't born, they become.)

BAND together. There is safety in numbers.

Never, ever BE A bully!

Remember, if you're being bullied, there is HELP! Call 1-850-790-HELP. No one deserves to bullied!

And here's a random picture of my littles in wigs to make you smile and remember that it's safer to stick together!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Young Hoosier Book Award Nominee!

I was thrilled to learn recently that BY THE GRACE OF TODD is a 2015-2016 Young Hoosier Book Award Nominee. This made me especially happy since I lived in Indiana before my family moved to Oklahoma.

Students pick the winners, which I think is awesome. But the best part is that kids get connected with some great books! Congratulations to the rest of the nominees!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

IN TODD WE TRUST Cover Reveal!

I'm so excited to announce that IN TODD WE TRUST has a cover! I think it's AWESOME, and I hope you agree!

The sequel to BY THE GRACE OF TODD releases March 17th, 2015 and is available for preorder from the links below. Here's the official book blurb:

Out of the dirt on Todd’s smelly sock came a race of miniature people who worship Todd as a god.
Now, the tiny Toddlians need everyone's prayers!

The Toddlians have always believed in the omnipotence of their god, twelve-year-old Todd Butroche. After all, Todd is their creator and they would not exist if it were not for him and his benevolent grossness. But when the Toddlians are confronted with a vile “red thing” (a moldy apple) and its mysterious and horrifying inhabitant (a worm!), they begin to believe Todd has forgotten all about them. There’s only one solution to the Toddlians’ problems: to find a new god! And so they decide to build a raft à la Noah’s ark in order to search for a more thoughtful deity. But who can the Toddlians turn to in their time of despair? And does Todd really not remember the miniature race generated by the dirt on his smelly sock? It will take more than divine intervention to save the Toddlians and mend their relationship with their neglectful creator.

And without further ado, here it is!

Isn't it COOL?! Let you know what you think in the comments. Here's where you can preorder (I'll add to the list as more sites become available):

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Mongee-Poo SLIME Recipe!

Here is the slime recipe that I make for library visits. It's super easy!

This recipe is straight from Check out his site for more cool science stuff to make!

Elmer's glue (most kinds of white craft glue work)
2 disposable cups
Food coloring (Mongee-Poo slime is green)
Borax powder (available at most large grocery stores near the detergent)
A plastic spoon (for stirring)
A tablespoon (for measuring)

1. Fill 1 small cup with water. Add a spoonful of the Borax powder and stir it up. Then set it aside.

2. Fill the other small cup with about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of the glue and stir.

3. Add 3 tablespoons (20 ml) of water to the glue and stir.

4. Add a few drops of the food coloring and stir it up until mixed.

5. Now the fun part! Add 1 tablespoon of the Borax solution you made earlier and stir well! Watch the slime form!

6. After the slime forms, let it sit for 30 seconds and then pull it off the spoon and play!

Tip: Keep your slime in a tightly closed plastic bag when you aren't playing with it, and keep it away from carpet and your cat! (Or little sister's hair.) :)

The slime in these photos is more like a triple batch. Be sure you have an adult help you, Borax is powerful stuff!

If you make slime, be sure to let me know how it turns out!