Monday, October 17, 2005

THE SEER #4 is finished!

Totally nearly 200 pages, with lots of danger, changing friendships, romance and ghosts, the 4th book in my psychic YA series, THE SEER, is finished! SWORD PLAY has a cool cover which can be seen at .

Now I'm plotting the 5th book which I hope Llewellyn wants. I can't decide between these two titles: KISS AND KILL or SHADOW SPELL. What do you prefer?

More updates on my other site.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Link to a Katrina Refuge's Blog

Dianne de Las Casas, a friend of mine who is a talented storyteller and writer, has been sharing her Katrina refuge experiences on her blog

People have been reaching out to her and her daughters with amazing kindness. I now read her blog every day. Check it out.

Monday, August 29, 2005


My first contest for kids (ages 8-12) went so well, I'm starting a new one
with $100 for the first place winner. It's an essay contest with a 250
word maximum.

The first contest's topic was ALIEN PETS to celebrate my midgrade
adventure OH, NO! UFO. This time the topic is magic under the sea to
celebrate my just released mermaid mixup, SEA SWITCH.

For more information go to my website and click on essay contest:

Monday, August 15, 2005

Look for SEA SWITCH soon!

My publisher sent an advance copy of the third STRANGE ENCOUNTERS book, SEA SWITCH, and I read through it right away. It's about a wicked mermaid who tricks Cassie and switches places with her - leaving Cassie in trouble under water and sentenced to a mermaid jail. Lots of fun and surprises.

I'm still writing the 4th THE SEER book, SWORD PLAY. Should hit the 100 page mark today if I get busy writing.

A week ago I had a great time at an annual children's writing conference in Los Angeles. I talked to many writers and attended workshops with editors, agents and a few famous authors (like Rosemary Wells and Bruce Coville). They had an American Idol type competition where instead of singing, entrants performed their book-related school talks -- and my own roommate Verla Kay was a finalist. A new friend Dianne de Las Casas was also a finalist.

Next month I'll announce a new writing contest for kids titled "Magic Under the Sea" because SEA SWITCH takes place in a magical world under the sea. I may allow 250 words instead of 200 this time, and I plan to add a 3rd place award also. It'll run from Sept. to January, so there will be plenty of time to send in entries.

Check back here for more contest news.

Friday, June 17, 2005


Before I announce the winners, I want to say that choosing them was SO difficult because there were around 300 entries.

The essays were well-written, funny and wonderful. If you didn't win this time, enter my "MAGIC UNDER THE SEA" essay contest in the Fall to celebrate the release of Strange Encounters #3: SEA SWITCH, where a wicked mermaid turns Cassie Strange into a mermaid. Check in August for details.

I'd like to thank my co-judges, picture book authors Verla Kay and Dana Kessimakis Smith. It was a big job to choose winners among so many fantastic essays. In fact, choosing was so difficult, instead of 5 third place winners, I picked 12. Also there was a tie for second place, so two entrants will receive $50. I plan to contact the winners by mail or phone soon. Then with their permission, I'll post a few here.

Here are the winning essays:
FIRST PlACE: My Alien Week by Kimberly Paquette

SECOND PLACE: (A tie!) My Alien Pet by Jori Silber & My Astonishing Alien by Michelle Vaisman

Chub by Erin Anderson
The Adventures of a Boy and His Pet Max by Kortney Walton
My Alien Pet by Sydney Ippolito
Morpha Ova by Maria L. Hodge
My New Alien Pet by Rachael Eberle
My Alien Adventures by Jackie Thelen
Star Surfer by Emily Ann Smith
Describe an Alien Pet by Kayla Gibbs
Jig My Alien Pet by Rebecca Tracy,
My Alien Pet by Timothy Brown Jr.
Koalaroo by Amriz Molina
Alien Pet by Jonathan Melchiorre

Congratulations to everyone who entered! You're amazing writers!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Alien Essay Contest Update


I've now had a chance to read all the (approx. 300) entries and am waiting on the final judging decision of my two assistant judges, Verla Kay and Dana Kessimakis Smith. The entries were ALL so creative and wonderful, picking a few dozen for this final round was very difficult. I am very impressed with the writing of all entrants. Amazing!

Since the entries were SO well-written, I'm increasing the number of third prizes from five to ten.

Also I've decided to offer another essay contest this Fall to celebrate the September release of my mermaid fantasy-adventure, SEA SWITCH, where Cassie Strange goes on a quest for mermaids and becomes one. The theme will be "Magic Under the Sea." I'll post the info on my website in August.

Don't forget I also have an ongoing contest on my website which only has about a dozen entrants for the July 4th book giveaway. All you have to do is send an email to enter this raffle contest.

Thanks again to everyone who entered. I'll post contest results as soon as I get them.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

At long last .... LAST DANCE!

It's out!!!

Did I mention, it's out?!!

The second installment in the psychic saga of Sabine Rose, THE SEER series, has been published. If you liked DON'T DIE DRAGONFLY, you should enjoy LAST DANCE (at least I hope you do!)

LAST DANCE has lots of mystery, adventure, danger and romance. Readers will discover Thorn's real name and secrets about a 50-year old ghost. And when it's all over, someone may die....

THE SEER #2: LAST DANCE is available at booksellers everywhere. And if your local store doesn't have it, just ask them to order it. Or check Amazon and Barnes and Noble online.

Happy reading!

Friday, April 15, 2005


I'm close to being offered a contract for SWORD PLAY, #4 in THE SEER series.

If you want to read more about Sabine, Dominic, Josh, Penny-Love, Nona and Thorn, cross your fingers for me. I've had fun writing THE SEER series and hope to keep doing it for a long time.

Well I'm off to appear at Galt High's career day. I'm going to have a raffle for a free book and ask each entrant to write down their favorite word.

What's your favorite word??

Sunday, April 10, 2005


Just two months away before THE SEER #2 LAST DANCE comes out.

It's always so hard to wait. I want the book out yesterday. Or even tomorrow. But it's not scheduled until June. I don't even have an advance copy of it -- and my publisher sent some out to select reviewers. I had an email from a bookstore owner who had read one of these advance copies and she loved the book. I wanted to scream, "How come you have a copy and I don't?" But I restrained myself. "Be patient," I told myself.

Then I did an online search and found a copy of LAST DANCE for sale from a secondhand store. Quick as a keystroke, I dashed off my credit card and info and ordered the book....only to get an email a short while later that they didn't have the book after all.

So it's back to waiting. WAITING!! I really hate it!

Oh well...I'll be busy next week since I'm doing Galt High's career day on Friday. Next talk is June 15th at Lodi Writers. Then nothing in July except that on July 16th the Harry Potter #6 comes out. I can't wait! (Geez...I hate waiting).

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Classroom Visit

Today I gave an author talk to a class of 4th graders. The class had just finished reading my book, OH, NO! UFO and they were full of questions about writing and aliens. I showed them overhead pictures and did a worksheet called CREATE YOUR OWN ALIEN PLANET.

In closing, I read two chapters from my upcoming third book in the STRANGE ENCOUNTERS series, SEA SWITCH, the part where Cassie discovers what pet her sister Amber has hidden and then later when Cassie meets a wicked mermaid. I can't wait for this book to come out in September!

Thursday, March 31, 2005


I just had an email from a writer friend, Kim R., who figured out some of the hidden meanings in my OH, NO! UFO book. Woo hoo, Kim!

Here's what she said-
I just finished reading Oh No UFO and Don't Die Dragonfly.
I thought they were great! I particularly liked the backwards
names hidden in Vee's alien language in Oh No UFO, and
Sabine's reluctance to use her gift in Dragonfly.

To undercover secrets behind STRANGE ENCOUNTERS and THE SEER series, read some of the articles at Llewellyn's site that they asked me to write to share some real stories that happened to me while writing.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Nothing Much

Today is my husband's birthday. We already celebrated last weekend with a small party, but I'm also going to bake him some Rice Crispie treats.

I've started a new blog more writing focused at so if you're interested in writing, check it out. I didn't post today though because nothing much is going on. I didn't even write. Some days are like that.

The sun is shining. My heart is breaking. A favorite pet has died and I'm in mourning.

Saturday, March 12, 2005


Ever read DRAGON RIDER by Cornelia Funke?

If you have then you know why I drove over 2 hours last night to get books signed by German author, Cornelia Funke. The signing was held at Hicklebee's in San Jose and it was CROWDED! I got there early so I could buy a book and get assigned my place in line. I was #25 of over #150.

Kids swarmed around Cornelia and grew silent when she began to read from her wonderful fantasy novel, DRAGON RIDER. Although German is her language, she spoke perfect English. After reading, she answered questions revealing that INKHEART's sequel which is titled INKBLOOD in German will be called INKSPELL when it's translated in English. And it's coming out in October! I'm as eager to read this book as I am the 6th Harry Potter coming out on July 16th.

It took 2 hours before I got my books signed. And I took this chance to ask Cornelia, "What can you tell me about INKSPELL?" She answered that Dustfinger will return to the book and others will follow ... but not Eleanor. And that's all I know...have to wait till October to find out more.

Also she said that THIEF LORD has been filmed with British actors, but she doesn't know it the movie will be shown in the US. And her other books will probably end up as movies, too.

Another surprising thing she revealed is that she's been famous in Germany for a long time--and has 42 books published there. But only 3 so far in America. Fans (like me!) have a lot to look forward to.

When she signed my copy of DRAGON RIDER, she drew a small picture of a dragon's head. Way cool!

Saturday, March 05, 2005


Between March and June, I will be holding an essay contest for kids from 8-12 years old (in 2005) to write about the alien pet they'd like to have.

The winning entry will receive $100.
Second place will receive $50.

There is no entry fee and the entry form can be copied from my website .

Pass this information on to any kids, teachers, parents and librarians you think might be interested.

Thursday, March 03, 2005


Well the good news is that THE SEER psychic mystery series is selling well.

But the bad news is that it's doing better than my STRANGE ENCOUNTERS yesterday my editor asked me to stop writing STRANGE and work only on THE SEER.

So I won't be able to write GHOST BRIDGE, which really disappoints me. It would have been a wonderful story. Sigh.

Instead I guess I'm going to start a new THE SEER book. Fortunately I have some ideas, involving Sabine moving back in with her parents and being haunted (literally) by an old tragedy. My working title at the moment is SWORD PLAY. That should give the artist a chance to come up with a really amazing silver sword cover.

Check back here soon for a BIG announcement about a writing contest for kids with a first prize of $100.....

Friday, February 25, 2005

Bridge to Magic

The good news is that my editor read my manuscript for the 3rd THE SEER, WITCH BALL, and she loved it. Big relief! When I turned in the 2nd THE SEER, she wasn't excited at first and I had to do a lot of revisions. The revisions really improved the story and readers should really love all the magic, ghosts and romance when it comes out in June.

Now back to writing the STRANGE ENCOUNTERS series....
I've started to write the 4th book. My title (unless the publisher changes it) will be GHOST BRIDGE.

Here's how I describe the book:
A bridge to magic blasts Cassie back in time – to the 1970’s!
London Bridge is falling down again--and Cassie Strange is swept up in a magical mystery involving a bunny, a missing girl and TIME TRAVEL!

Here's the opening line so far:
When I saw the purple envelope, I knew something exciting was going to happen.

I only have six pages written, but it's a good start.

As I type this morning, my lovely white cat Lily is curled and purring on my lap. There's a picture of her on my website if you jump around to find the "Linda Facts" link.

Well I'm off in a few hours to enjoy sun, surf and WRITERS. I'm going to a writing conference near Monterey where I'll listen to talks from editors, agents and famous mystery author Nancy Werlin. Her books BLACK MIRROR and DOUBLE HELIX are great!

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Sisters In Crime and Fairsite School

I'm going to a Sisters-In-Crime meeting this afternoon. I've been reading mysteries since my first Judy Bolton and Nancy Drew as a kid, and continue to love this genre. The Sacramento Sisters-In-Crime group is great and we've had some fantastic speakers, like detectives, crime scene investigators, fire inspectors and many authors (including me). Today we're going to talk about publishing and submitting manuscripts.

Yesterday I spoke at Fairsite School in Galt to 4th graders about the writing contest I'm judging. This will be my 10th year with this contest, and this year my co-judge is Dana K. Smith who has a wonderful picture book out from Hyperion about a boy pretending to be a cowboy. She spoke to 3rd graders and read them an advance copy of her next book with the same little boy blasting off into space. Afterwards Dana, her daughter Olivia, the librarian Mrs. Sweeny and I went out to lunch.

One of the questions the kids asked during the Q&A was, "What's it like to be an author?"
The answer is, "Fun!"

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


I checked out my publisher Llewellyn's Tween-Teen page and was pleased tofind they're offering free screen savers from book covers - - including the cover for my book DON'T DIE DRAGONFLY. I downloaded and now have my own shimmery purple cover as a screensaver. What fun for an author!!

Also there's an article I wrote called HOLLYWOOD SEES GHOSTS -- part promotion, part speculation about trends on TV and in books. Anyone curious can check it out at:

Monday, February 14, 2005

Valentine's Day Contest Winner

Congratulations to Kim C. for being chosen to win one of my books in my tri-annual website contest. Thanks to the others who entered, and be sure to enter again as a new contest starts now.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Arizona and Oedipus

Things have been busy lately.

Last week I spoke to a great school in Arizona called Topock Elementary.

After an introduction from the Principal and a teacher named Angel, I started off with overhead pictures for about 25 minutes, then showed stories I wrote as a kid and answered questions. I talked about the upcoming #3 Strange Encounters, SEA SWITCH, and showed the class a rough sketch of the future book cover. Then I read the chapter where Cassie meets a mermaid. Afterwards, I signed books, answered more questions and talked to four more classes. I had a great time!!

Then a few days ago I went to college with my son Andy. He had a part in a "reader's theater" of the Greek tragedy Oedipus (a really gruesome, sad story). Soon the teacher announced that their "Star" who played Oedipus wasn't there. Next thing I know, my son is taking that part and reading it with great dramatic ability. After about 20 minutes, the "Star" showed up, so my son switched back to his regular role. I was really proud of Andy.

MOOD: Itchy cause I have an allergic reaction to scorpion weed (like poison oak)
BOOK I JUST READ: See You Down the Road by Kim Ablon Whitney
BOOK I'LL READ NEXT: Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Wednesday, January 19, 2005




I saw the assassin before she saw me. (Singing the Dogstar Blues by Alison Goodman)

Things had been getting a little better until I got a letter from my dead sister. That more or less ruined my day. (Dead Girls Don’t Write Letters by Gail Giles)

12th Day of September. I am commanded to write an account of my days: I am bit by fleas and plagued by family. That is all there is to say. (Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman)

Once upon a time there was a pair of pants. (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares)

Henry got up early on the day that changed his life.(Faerie Wars by Herbie Brennan)

My name is Salmon, like the fish, first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. (The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold)

When summer comes to the North Woods, time slows down. And some days it stops altogether. (A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly)

We cut ourselves. Not by accident, we do it purposely-and regularly-because physical pain is comforting, and because now it has become a habit. Like the drugs. (Crosses by Shelly Stoher)

It all happened because I had to pee.(L.O.S.T. by Debbie Federucci and Susan Vaught)

"Oh, Man!" David had thought he might be dying as he looked past his chest and saw his intestines splayed before him. (David V. God by Mary Pearson)

"Simon Glass was easy to hate." (Shattering Glass by Gail Giles)

"Which would you rather be, fat or dead?" (Life in the Fat Lane by Cherie Bennett)

And I can’t resist adding one of my own:
I could feel the eyes. Watching me. (Double Vision by Linda Joy Singleton)

So what's YOUR favorite opening?

Monday, January 03, 2005


So here's what been going on--

* I passed the 100 page mark writing THE SEER #3. WITCH BALL.
* Added Kid Writer Advice on my website:
* Currently reading a YA science fiction novel called WILDSIDE by Gould.
* Went square dancing New Years Eve where I ran into two childhood friends.

At the beginning of every year, I make a list of some favorite books I read.
Here are five favorite juvenile mysteries of 2004:

* SAMMY KEYES AND THE ART OF DECEPTION by Wendelin Van Draanen - funny, clever mysteries with characters kids and adults will love.

* HAND OF FATE (Fortune Tellers Club) by Dotti Enderle - Spooky, fun for young girls who love a bit of magic with their mysteries.

* PEOPLE OF SPARKS by Jeanne DuPrau -- A fantastic futuristic mystery for all ages. The long awaited sequal to CITY OF EMBER.

* STAR OF KAZAN by Eva Ibbotson - Reminds me a bit of Dorothy Gilman mysteries, with intriguing settings, clever characters and lots of atmospheric fun.

* TAYLOR FIVE by Ann Halam - A topic I enjoy, cloning, with a survival adventure plot.