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Spartacus: Launched!

8 Aug


Donuts were devoured! La Croix was legulped! And–if I’m not mistaken–it seems like a lot of young people found a new book to read. The thought of actual kids reading my book–that thought makes me CRAZY GIDDY. 😀

All of this is to say: Spartacus Ryan Zander and the Secrets of the Incredible is finally out in the world!

The book’s big birthday party was on Friday, Aug. 3 and I’m over the moon about the turn out and how GOSH DARN fun the whole thing was! But this was more than a book reading.


The real party starter was  Mel Aguilera, the multi-talented superhero who brought her hula hoop to greet guests. She then performed some absolutely mind-bending contortions while we all tried not to do a spit-take with our donuts. (Who knew you can pat the top of your own head with your own foot?!)

Mel was also kind enough to do some Q&A afterwards. (The secret to contortion? Surprise! It’s practice.) Also, she shared that she doesn’t prank people by, say, falling over backwards from the waist at dinner parties to surprise people–unless they ask her to. I can imagine that happens a lot.


Next, we heard a hilarious excerpt from Portland comedian Alex Falcone’s debut novel, Unwrap My Heart. (It’s a YA romance novel about mummies. It’s funny. You’ll like it. Also, this man knows how to do a book reading. Book him.)

Finally, after a teeny bit of book summary just because I assume that’s what a book reading is about, we got all that nonsense over with so we could dive into a reading. Alex joined my friend Sarah, myself, and a plucky volunteer to read a 3-person excerpt from The Secrets of the Incredible. It was experimental–and hey! It worked! (Oh, authors: I def recommend this round-robin reading idea for any book with lots of fun, clippy dialogue.)

One of the best parts of the night–besides seeing all my friends and signing books and giving kids fake tattoos and sugar in the form of endless donuts (Doe Donuts, VooDoo, and Back to Eden were all represented! WOOT!)–was that our raffle raised $94 for protecting endangered lemurs. I’m blown away by everyone’s generosity.

We raised enough that I was able to I pull two raffle winners, each of whom will get to “adopt” a lemur. (Feeling lemur envy? You can adopt one, too!)


You might be wondering—why raise money for lemurs? Well, the book has an endangered aye-aye in it named Matilda. I fell in love while researching this wonderfully strange looking lemur and wanted to help.

In addition to the raffle, my publisher and I donated 20% of all book pre-orders to a nonprofit dedicated to aye-aye conservation. While it may sound like a pat on the back (though it’s a HUGE thank you to Fitzroy Books!) it’s actually an invitation to explore the world of lemurs and see how you can help. Learn more.

This post is kind of petering out, but it’s mostly because while I’ve been assembling photos, my amazing hubs created a video of the event, making the rest of my post kind of moot. You can watch it below.

HOWEVER! I can’t end this without giving a shout out everyone who made it out to the signing. I said it there, but let me say it again: It means so much to have you there. There are no books without readers. There are no book launches without friends. There are no kids reading books without adults taking them to the library, so take them there.

And biggest thank you of all to Jaynie and Ruth from Fitzroy Books. You both made this into a wonderful adventure–and made Spartacus’s journey so much fun to read. I can’t wait to see where the road leads us.



I’ve decided my book as a nickname, and it’s The Secrets of the Incredible–and it’s already been spotted out in the wild thanks to pre-orders!

If you bought The Secrets of the Incredible and you like it, please leave me a review on Amazon or GoodReads or even Facebook! (It doesn’t matter where you bought it, reviews are universal.) Oh, and if your child reads it and wants to be featured in my kids’ reviews, message me!

Save the date!

12 Jun

The book release party IS HAPPENING!

Facebook book launch STD

If you’re in the neighborhood, join me at A Children’s Place Bookstore on Friday, August 3rd for a couple readings, refreshments (adult and otherwise), and maybe maybe (fingers and toes crossed!) a bit of circus fun.

I’ll also be holding a small raffle to adopt (ok, “adopt”) an endangered aye-aye! (Why an aye-aye? What IS an aye-aye? Buy the book and find out!) Tickets will be $1; my goal is to raise $50.

I’ll update the Facebook event as the details get ironed out. But in the meantime, I hope you’ll save the date!

RSVP on Facebook.

91 days and counting

4 May

Spartacus Ryan Zander
and the Secrets of the Incredible


[insert dance party gif]

I’m not gonna have my first author blog post be a back-to-back GIF party, but that’s only because it’s after midnight and I might be a the slightest bit obsessive about picking just the right GIFs. But! As I was updating my book’s advanced reviews page I got SUPER excited and wanted to share my progress, right …now.

My book is officially dropping in 91 days! Not that I’m obsessively counting. I’m not obsessively counting.

Spartacus Ryan Zander and the Secrets of the Incredible has been a labor of love (as a published author, I’m contractually obligated to drop that phrase once per book mention). But this story is one I’ve loved and labored over for a super long time–so much so that the book is now almost as old as the main character. I HAVE AN ELEVEN YEAR OLD BOOK TWEEN. Amazing how fast they grow up.

Spartacus was been picked up by the loveliest people, Fitzroy Books, who have helped make this awkward tween into everything I hoped it would be. Between now and the publishing date, I’m going to be sharing updates, book details, and some funs stuff I’ve learned along the way. In the mean time, CHECK OUT THIS COVER!!!


And also–these awesome advanced reviews. 😀 😀 😀


Okay, maybe just one GIF…


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