I was thrilled to have pre-release copies of The Amorphous Assassin in time for the Third Annual Central Massachusetts Children’s Book Festival, where local families came together with authors and illustrators to celebrate great books for children. I also had copies of The Challengers and my out of print epistolary book, The Penguins of Doom.

Me and my assistants.
Me and my assistants.

Many old friends were in attendance and a fun time was had by all. 

Speaking of which, if you like the Galaxy Games series, and middle grade sports books in general, my friend David Kelly has a baseball mystery series that visits Major League stadiums across the US and Canada, a new sport-specific series, and a fascinating non-fiction baseball book about some very special mud.

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David Kelly and I check out each other’s latest books.

I received an entire box of The Amorphous Assassin, just in time for a book signing at Groton, Massachusetts’s Bliss Bakery as part of a Local Business Night Out sponsored by the Deluxe Corporation. It was the first time this title went on sale, and easily the best-smelling book signing I’ve ever done, thanks to all the fresh-out-of-the-oven cookies and cakes all around me.

Thanks to everyone who bought a book. Enjoy it with a nice blueberry scone!

I am pleased to announced that I will be participating in the Local Authors Fair at the Groton Public Library on November 26th from 10AM to Noon. I will be signing copies of both The Challengers and my newly-released Galaxy Games series book, The Amorphous Assassin. I may even bring along some rare copies of The Penguins of Doom!

On this Saturday after Thanksgiving, traditionally identified as Small Business Saturday, the event organizers are reminding us all to remember that authors are also small businesses, and that personalized books make amazing gifts.

If you’re not local to Groton, you’re probably local to some author who would appreciate your support. But if you are local, please stop by the library for my signing or just to say hi!

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If you followed the link to my SCBWI Book Blast, you may have already clicked onward to a preview of the first two chapters of The Amorphous Assassin on my publisher’s website. If not, here’s your chance!

The book opens at a practice of Earth’s Galaxy Games team in an empty Beijing National Stadium at nighttime. Two years have passed since the end of The Challengers, and Tyler Sato will soon be leading his team of international all-stars out of their own solar system for the very first time. Tyler is full of self-doubt, the players are at each other’s throats, the coach is notoriously absent, and there is no time left to make the team any more ready than they are. Training season is over, and the tournament is about to begin.

Meanwhile, many light years away, a reluctant would-be assassin is receiving his orders from a secret organization. At stake is the fate of the galaxy, the future of the games, and the lives of many trillions of civilized beings. The target is Tyler Sato.

Read the opening for yourself, right now before The Amorphous Assassin goes on sale on November 18th!

Fun Fact:
At one time, my working title for this book was Tyler vs. Ffargax

October 10th marks the opening of Book Blast season at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators–SCBWI for short, or Skib-whee for even shorter. Hundreds of new 2016 books are on virtual display for the next six weeks, just in time for holiday season shopping for all the readers in your life. 

I’m proud to have a page in the Book Blast, which can be viewed at https://www.scbwi.org/bookblast-display/?id=418923 

Have a blast with SCBWI
Have a blast with SCBWI

Drop by the page, leave a message on the guestbook, and be sure to click the heart icon to “like” the blast and hear a special audio effect. And while you’re there, I’ve placed a “preview” button on the page that will give you advance access to the first two chapters of The Amorphous Assassin before the book goes on sale in November.

Then check out some other great children’s authors and illustrators having a blast this season:

  • My 2k7 classmate, Jay Asher, is having a blast with his newest book, What Light, at https://www.scbwi.org/bookblast-display/?id=410954
  • Tracy Barrett is having a blast with The Song of Orpheus, a non-traditional collection of lesser-known tales from Greek mythology at https://www.scbwi.org/bookblast-display/?id=413044
  • Christopher Cheng, one of the coolest Australian authors I know, is having a blast with his Chinese New Year themed picture book, New Year Surprise! at https://www.scbwi.org/bookblast-display/?id=422505
  • Mary Cronk Farrell is having a blast with Fannie Never Flinched, a biography of pioneering labor rights activist Fannie Sellins at http://www.scbwi.org/bookblast-display/?id=414134
  • Janet Fox is having a very spooky blast with The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle, just in time for Halloween at https://www.scbwi.org/bookblast-display/?id=413249
  • My friend and fellow Spellbound River Press author, Stacy Mozer, is having a blast with the new edition of her middle grade baseball book, The Sweet Spot at https://www.scbwi.org/bookblast-display/?id=413427
  • Lin Oliver is cool and funny in person and also in her books! She’s having a blast with Danger! Tiger Crossing, the first book in a new series that literally throws kids into some of the greatest paintings in art history, and she’s having another blast with co-author Henry “Ayyyyyyy!” Winkler with The Soggy Foggy Campout, Book #8 in the Here’s Hank series.
  • Linda Sue Park is having a blast with Forest of Wonders, the opening book to her new Wing & Claw series at https://www.scbwi.org/bookblast-display/?id=417644
  • Ruth Sanderson is having a blast with her illustrations of George MacDonald’s Victorian fairy tale, The Golden Key, at https://www.scbwi.org/bookblast-display/?id=413290
  • Linda Urban is having a blast with her new chapter book, Weekends with Max and his Dad, at https://www.scbwi.org/bookblast-display/?id=419220
  • Lisa Yee is having a blast with the Supergirl-focused volume of her amazingly cool DC-licensed Super Hero High series at https://www.scbwi.org/bookblast-display/?id=419222
  • Cheryl Zach is having a blast with the opening volume of a cool-looking historical romance set against the United States Civil War at https://www.scbwi.org/bookblast-display/?id=414634

…and many more can be found at http://www.scbwi.org/bookblast!

October 16th Update: More Book Blasts have been added, so I’ve added to my list as well. Enjoy!