2017 Showcase: California North/Central Member Titles

 

2017 Releases From Our Regional Members

SCBWI Cal North-Central Logo

Look at the wonderful new releases from our wonderful regional members

 

Books make great gifts! 

Consider these when doing your holiday shopping smiley

 
 
Melissa Abramovitz

Melissa Abramovitz

Cutting Edge Careers: Cybersecurity Analyst

Educational Nonfiction

As cyberattacks on computers and other digital devices have proliferated worldwide, so too has the need for cybersecurity analysts. Incidents of hacking and data theft have created higher demand than ever for these professionals. What the job entails, what it pays, and future prospects are discussed along with insights from industry insiders.

Melissa Abramovitz is an award-winning, versatile author/writer who enjoys writing for all age groups, from preschoolers through adults. While she specializes in writing nonfiction educational books and magazine articles, she also writes fiction (short stories, picture books, and novels) and poetry.

Purchase Cybersecurity Analyst

Also out this year: Understanding Psychology: Understanding Addiction and Thinking Critically: Animal Rights

See Melissa's website for more details!

 
Greg Bray

Greg Bray

Bath of Least Resistance

Picture Book

A paint covered puppy. A brother's unsuccessful attempts to get him clean. What will it take to get Bogie into the bath? Or is he destined to remain a colorful pooch forever?

Gregory E Bray was born and raised in Sacramento, CA where he still resides. He was a film major in college who now works in the IT industry. In his spare time he geocaches, plays hockey, chases around his son and recovers from all three aforementioned activities. He has two self-published picture books out, "The Tail of a Boy Named Harvey" and "Meowy Christmas" His latest picture book, "The Bath of Least Resistance" will be out in the fall of 2017 via MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing. His inspiration for writing comes from his wife, son and their cat Harvey.

Purchase Bath of Least Resistance

See Greg's website for more details

 

 
Janay Brown-Wood

JaNay Brown-Wood

Grandma's Tiny House: A Counting Story

Picture Book

There is always room for family! This sweet, rhyming counting book introduces young readers to numbers one through fifteen as Grandma’s family and friends fill her tiny house on Brown Street. Neighbors, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and grandkids crowd into the house and pile it high with treats for a family feast.

But when the walls begin to bulge and nobody has space enough to eat, one clever grandchild knows exactly what to do. Where there’s a will there’s a way when families grow and come together.

JaNay Brown-Wood is the author of Imani’s Moon and a professor of early childhood education. She lives in Roseville, California.

Purchase Grandma's Tiny House: A Counting Story

See JaNay's website for more details!

 
Shawnie Clark

Shawnie Clark

Wonder Wheels

Picture Book

Have you ever felt downhearted? 

That’s how Kobe felt until the day he received the best gift ever. That gift changed his life! It gave him the freedom to do things he wasn’t able to do before, such as help others, walk the dog, play at the park, go on adventures, and make friends. Ride with Kobe in his new Wonder Wheels. Zooming along like a super hero to places he never dreamed he could go!

Shawnie Clark is a children's author/writer. She has published several articles and children's books to date with more on the way ...

Purchase Wonder Wheels

See Shawnie's website for more details!

 
Erin Dealey

Erin Dealey

Babies Come From Airports

Picture Book

Two brothers wait for Mom to bring their new baby sister home from her birth country. Heartwarming and humorous.

A diverse, kid’s-eye view of adoption, one special day, and familial love, Babies Come From Airports has a child-friendly rhyming text and lively and colorful illustrations filled with details.

Erin Dealey (@ErinDealey) is a children's author of many genres, from board books to YA, including DECK THE WALLS~about the kids' table at a holiday dinner, GOLDIE LOCKS HAS CHICKEN POX, and LITTLE BO PEEP CAN’T GET TO SLEEP. Among Dealey's forthcoming 2018+ titles are GRANDMA'S FAVORITE and companion book GRANDPA'S FAVORITE, and PETER EASTER FROG.

School visits and kidlit conferences have taken her as far south as Brazil and as far north as Tok, Alaska. She grew up in Oakland, CA, and lasted one full day as an employee at a Pineapple Factory in Hawaii.

Purchase Babies Come From Airports

Also out this year: K Is For Kindergarten

See Erin's website for more details!

 
Tannya Derby

Tannya L. Derby

Jayden Won't Go To Bed

Picture Book

Jayden is four and like any four year-old he doesn’t like to go to bed. In this story he does everything to avoid going to bed all the while his mother is reminding him and moving him through the process of getting there. Jayden runs around playing while his mother rounds him up. Finally, Jayden takes things into his own hands and hides from his mom and while hiding the inevitable happens.

Tannya L. Derby is a children's book author and illustrator. She has found her love for writing and art is her joy in life so she made it her career. She is not only educated with a BFA in Creative Writing for Entertainment and an MFA In Creative Writing, as well as, pursuing her second Masters Degree from The Academy of Art University in Illustration, she is also an autodidact in illustrating, screenwriting, and painting for over 20 years. 

Purchase Jayden Won't Go To Bed

Also out this year: Tilly the Turtle and Fixit the Dragon

See Tannya's website for more details!

 
Amy Dixon

Amy Dixon

Maurice the Unbeastly

Picture Book

With his melodious voice, fondness for kale, and unfailing politeness, Maurice isn’t quite like other beasts. His concerned Mama and Papa send their ridiculously photogenic beastie to the Abominable Academy for Brutish Beasts to learn how to behave badly. Will Maurice master growling, scowling, snarling, and howling? Or will he prove that being different is a good thing after all?

Amy Dixon grew up as one of seven siblings, so the only peace and quiet she ever got was inside a book. Amy is the author of Marathon Mouse and Sophie’s Animal Parade (both Sky Pony). She and her husband Rob wrangle their four beasts in Clovis, CA, where she encourages them on a daily basis to be a bit less beastly.

Purchase Maurice the Unbeastly

See Amy's website for more details!

 
Margarita Engle

Margarita Engle

Miguel's Brave Knight: Young Cervantes and His Dream of Don Quixote

Picture Book

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra finds refuge from his difficult childhood by imagining the adventures of a brave but clumsy knight.

This fictionalized first-person biography in verse of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra follows the early years of the child who grows up to pen Don Quixote, the first modern novel. The son of a gambling, vagabond barber-surgeon, Miguel looks to his own imagination for an escape from his family's troubles and finds comfort in his colorful daydreams. At a time when access to books is limited and imaginative books are considered evil, Miguel is inspired by storytellers and wandering actors who perform during festivals. 

Award-winning author Margarita Engle's distinctive picture book depiction of the childhood of the father of the modern novel, told in a series of free verse poems, is enhanced by Raúl Colón's stunning illustrations. Backmatter includes a note from both the author and illustrator as well as additional information on Cervantes and his novel Don Quixote.

Margarita Engle is the Cuban-American author of many verse books, including a Newbery Honor winner, The Surrender Tree; a PEN USA Award winner, The Lightning Dreamer; and a verse memoir, Enchanted Air, winner of many awards, including an inaugural Walter Dean Myers Award Honor and the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, among others. Margarita grew up in Los Angeles, but developed a deep attachment to her mother's homeland during summers with her extended family in Cuba. She was trained as a botanist and agronomist before becoming a full-time poet and novelist.

Purchase Miguel's Brave Knight

Also out this year: All the Way to Havanna, Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics, Forest World, and Morning Star Horse

See Margarita's website for more details!

 
Connie Goldsmith

Connie Goldsmith

Addiction and Overdose: Confronting an American Crisis

YA Nonfiction

Drug overdosing and death from prescription painkillers and heroin are at epidemic levels in the United States. How do people become addicted to opioids and other dangerous drugs, and why? Meet the experts who study the neurology of addiction. Hear stories of addicts in recovery, and of loved ones left behind by those who died from overdosing. Discover more about the social and economic costs of overdosing and learn about scientific research to decrease it. Learn about the connection between addiction and mental health disorders. Find out how to identify signs of addiction and overdose and what you can do to help someone get assistance.

Connie Goldsmith writes books about history, health, and science for older children. A recently retired RN with a master's degree in health, Ms. Goldsmith lives near Sacramento, California. 

Purchase Addiction and Overdose

Also out this year: Dogs at War: Military Heroes

See Connie's website for more details!

 
Kimberly Gordon-Biddle

Kimberly A. Gordon-Biddle

LaDonna Plays Hoops

Picture Book

This is an inspirational and contemporary story of a young, African-American girl who goes to visit her grandma for a family reunion. While there, she tries to become the family hoops star. She wonders if she has the skill and the will. The story presents subtle, everyday events that teach life lessons.

Kimberly A. Gordon Biddle is a lover of books. Her nose was always in a book, when she was younger. She still loves to read, when she gets the chance, and she also loves to write. She has co-authored a textbook on early childhood education and is under contract to co-author one about child development careers. For her day job, she is a professor of child development. She is also a loving wife to her husband and a loving mother to her son. She currently lives in the NorCal area of California. She has a BA in Psychology and Music and a PhD in Child and Adolescent Development.

Purchase LaDonna Plays Hoops

See Kimberly's website for more details!

 
Angelica Jackson

Angelica R. Jackson

Capturing the Castle: Images of Preston Castle (2006-2016)

Nonfiction

On a hilltop in Ione, California, there stands an unlikely castle with fanciful turrets and a soaring clock tower, looming over the town at its feet. This is Preston Castle, formerly known as the Preston School of Industry, which operated as a youth correctional facility from 1894 through 1960.

Fascinated by this unique building, Jackson photographed its interior over a ten-year period, and learned something of its history. Meanwhile, the Preston Castle Foundation has been working to preserve and restore selected rooms, and many of these photos will take you back in time to their state of arrested decay.

Angelica R. Jackson in keeping with her scattered Gemini nature, has published articles on gardening, natural history, web design, travel, hiking, and local history. Other interests include pets, reading, green living, and cooking for food allergies (the latter not necessarily by choice, but she's come to terms with it). Ongoing projects include short fiction, poetry, novels, art photography, and children's picture books. In 2012, she started Pens for Paws Auction, which features critiques and swag from agents and authors to raise money for a no-kill, cage-free cat sanctuary called Fat Kitty City. An incurable joiner, she is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (where she serves as Illustrator Coordinator for her local chapter), is an alumna of the group blog Operation Awesome, and debuted with the collection of authors known as The Fearless Fifteeners. She shares a home in California's Gold Country with a husband, two rescued Griffon Fauve de Bretagne sisters, and a reformed-feral tabby, and far too many books (if that's even possible).

Purchase Capturing the Castle

See Angelica's website for more details!

 
 
Marcia Kasabach

Marcia Kasabach

What Color Is My Day?

Picture Book

What Color Is My Day? uses color and visualization to empower young children to change energy and name their feelings, helping them to feel better.  It's child's play.

Marcia Kasabach has been doing energy healing for over 30 years, and also taught art in public schools. She lives in Davis, CA.  This is her first book as both author/illustrator.

Purchase What Color Is My Day?

 

 
Bitsy Kemper

Bitsy Kemper

Teens and Phobias

Educational Nonfiction

Phobias are a widespread group of anxiety disorders and a cause of much distress for teens. Teens and Phobias examines the nature of these disorders, what causes them, what it is like to live with them, and how or whether they can be treated or cured. A must read for teens, parents, and educators.

Bitsy Kemper is the proud author of 16 children’s books. She spent too much of her early career in the computer industry being interviewed in places like CNN and co-writing a nationally-syndicated newspaper column, not realizing the creative passion she’d have once she started writing children’s books. After authoring her first four picture books, she figured out a way to merge her PR and marketing expertise with her writing. When not nose down and knee deep creating & editing, she enjoys presenting at schools, events, and writers conferences, and helping other writers get attention. Bitsy is an accomplished speaker, mother of three (four if you count her husband), and according to her business card, a really nice gal.

Purchase Teens and Phobias

Also out this year: Software Engineer

See Bitsy's website for more details!

 
Jenny Lundquist

Jenny Carroll Lundquist

The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby

Middle Grade

Violet Barnaby searches for the joy in life after losing her mother in this sweet and funny follow-up to The Charming Life of Izzy Malone. Violet Barnaby is a having a blue Christmas. She’s still grieving the loss of her mother, and to make things worse, her dad has just married Melanie Harmer, a.k.a. the meanest teacher at Dandelion Hollow Middle School. Violet finds a letter her mother wrote to her before she died, asking Violet to enjoy Christmas, including a to do list for the holiday season–exactly the kinds of things Violet doesn’t want to do this year. When friend Izzy’s crush confides a big secret to Violet, Violet feels like she is stuck between her best friend and the boy who she just might have a crush on, too…

Jenny Carroll Lundquist is the author of The Charming Life of Izzy Malone, Seeing Cinderella, and Plastic Polly. She grew up in Huntington Beach, California, and earned a degree in Intercultural Studies at Biola University. Jenny has painted an orphanage in Mexico, taught English at a university in Russia, and hopes one day to write a book at a café in Paris. Jenny and her husband live in northern California with their two sons and Rambo, the world’s whiniest cat.

Purchase The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby

See Jenny's website for more details!

 
Lois Lunsford

Lois Lunsford

A New Book For Jack

Picture Book

Jack's love for books some times upset him. Especially when he has so many books already and there are so many more to read. He needs one now that will help him with a problem he's having at school. Can Jack find the book of his dreams, one to solve his problem? Come on his adventure and see if caring people can help him. 

Lois Lunsford is a retired school teacher after 30 years. Children help her to be creative, they bring a lot of joy, and humor to her life. Lois loves to bake, read, and help her husband with his online business, when she's not writing about her dogs, and the funny things kids do. Lois believes with all her heart that her courage comes from a caring God. Lois lives out in the country on a 5-acre ranch, with her husband of 42 years. They have a beautiful, loving daughter. She self-published a children's picture book, 'Sneaky Scottie', about her Scottish Terrier in 2014. She had a lot of fun promoting it; going to events, doing school visits, being interviewed for the local newspaper, and on Good Day Sacramento. 

Purchase A New Book For Jack

 
Beth McMullen

Beth McMullen

Mrs. Smith's Spy School For Girls

Middle Grade

A girl discovers her boarding school is actually an elite spy-training program, and she must learn the skills of the trade in order to find her mother in this action-packed middle grade debut. After a botched escape plan from her boarding school, Abigail is stunned to discover the school is actually a cover for an elite spy ring called The Center, along with being training grounds for future spies. Even more shocking? Abigail’s mother is a top agent for The Center and she has gone MIA, with valuable information that many people would like to have—at any cost. Along with a former nemesis and charming boy from her grade, Abigail goes through a crash course in Spy Training 101, often with hilarious—and sometimes painful—results. 

Beth McMullen is the author of the Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls series and several adult mysteries. Her books have heroes and bad guys, action and messy situations. An avid reader, she once missed her subway stop and rode the train all the way to Brooklyn because the book she was reading was that good. She lives in Northern California with her family, two cats and a parakeet named Zeus, who is sick of the cats eyeballing him like he’s dinner.

Purchase Mrs. Smith's Spy School For Girls

See Beth's website for more details!

 
Karen J Moore

Karen J Moore

A Story for CleoCatra

Middle Grade

Curiosity, and perhaps a little sibling jealousy, lead to new possibilities when twin cats, CleoCatra and Catrina observe each other's lives. When given the opportunity they decide to switch places. They discover things aren't always what they seem as they experience the other's every day life.

Karen J Moore spent many years working at Sierra Unified School District as a Title 1 Instructional Aide. She loves story, dark chocolate, animals, and spending time with her family. Her other titles include: Journey of the Knight and Pen the Tale, Oogie.

Purchase A Story for CleoCatra

See Karen's website for more details!

 
Patricia Newman

Patricia Newman

Zoo Scientists to the Rescue

Middle-Grade Nonfiction

Zoos take care of animals and welcome visitors of all ages, but that's not all zoos do. Author Patricia Newman and photographer Annie Crawley bring readers behind the scenes at three zoos to meet scientists working to save endangered animals.

Patricia Newman has a passion for uncovering fascinating aspects about our world and crafting books that lead children on an adventure of discovery. She gravitates toward stories about animals and conservation science and enjoys sharing her excitement with readers. Books include Junior Library Guild Selections Zoo Scientists to the Rescue and Sea Otter Heroes: The Predators That Saved an Ecosystem; Ebola: Fears and Facts, a Booklist Editor's Choice and an ACL Distinguished Book; Plastic, Ahoy! Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a Green Earth Book Award winner and finalist for the AAAS/Subaru Science Books and Film Award. She frequently speaks at schools, libraries, and conferences about writing and conservation. She lives in Northern California.

Purchase Zoo Scientists to the Rescue

Also out this year: Sea Otter Heroes: The Predators That Saved an Ecosystem

See Patricia's website for more details!

 
Margaret O'Hair

Margaret O'Hair

Be You Tiful Love, Sofia

Picture Book

"Poof! Then magic happened, from light inside my heart. They loved me and I learned, I am capable, kind and smart!" How do we inspire our children to know all the ways they can shine in this world, simply by being who they are? BE YOU TIFUL LOVE, SOFIA is the true story of Sofia Sanchez, a little girl with Down syndrome. Talking to you heart to heart, Sofia takes you on her personal journey of dreaming big and never giving up.  Most of all, she proves that being yourself is the best magic power of all. Gorgeous full color pictures illustrate her path from Eastern European Orphan to All American Girl. The perfect book for birthdays, celebrations and any day for inspiration. 

Margaret O'Hair is an award-winning author, kindergarten teacher, mother of Sam and Stephanie, and dog-mom to Sailor and Surfer. If you want to find her, look on the beach where she is walking with her husband, Mark, and her Portuguese Water Dogs. Be on the lookout for her debut novel, MALIBU WISH.

Purchase Be You Tiful, Love, Sofia

See Margaret's website for more details!

 
Shirley Parenteau

Shirley Parenteau

Bears in the Snow

Picture Book

The little bears are ready to play in the snow. But — oh, no! Their sled is too small! It’s not as much fun to go sledding only two at a time, but what can they use to carry them all? Luckily, Big Brown Bear has an idea — and it starts with a belly flop!

Bears in the Snow is the sixth picture book in Shirley's series about the bears, published by Candlewick Press. Bears and Blossoms will be out in Spring of 2018, followed in July by the first book, Bears on Chairs in a dual language edition in English and Spanish.

Shirley Parenteau lives in Northern California near her three children and six granddaughters.

Purchase Bears in the Snow

Also out this year: Dolls of War

See Shirley's website for more details!

 
Gayle Pitman

Gayle Pitman

When You Look Out the Window: How Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin Built a Community

Picture Book

This is a picture book about Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, one of San Francisco’s most well-known and politically active lesbian couples. In this story, Phyllis and Del point out landmarks through the city that can be seen out their window. The “Reader’s Note” describes how Phyllis and Del left their mark on each of these sites. This is a unique way to introduce children to untold stories in history while also being a clever tribute to two notable women.

By day, Gayle E. Pitman teaches psychology and women's studies at Sacramento City College. By night, she writes children's books and engages in other forms of subversive creativity. Her debut picture book, THIS DAY IN JUNE, won the 2015 ALA Stonewall Award, it was chosen as a Top Ten pick on the GLBTRT's Rainbow List, and it won the Notable Books for a Global Society award. Her newest book, WHEN YOU LOOK OUT THE WINDOW, tells the story of Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin. Gayle lives with her partner and child in Northern California.

Purchase When You Look Out the Window

Also out this year: Feminism From A to Z

See Gayle's website for more details!

 
Joanna Rowland

Joanna Rowland

The Memory Box: A Book About Grief

Picture Book

"I'm scared I'll forget you…" From the perspective of a young child, Joanna Rowland artfully describes what it is like to remember and grieve a loved one who has died. The child in the story creates a memory box to keep mementos and written memories of the loved one, to help in the grieving process. Heartfelt and comforting, The Memory Box will help children and adults talk about this very difficult topic together. The unique point of view allows the reader to imagine the loss of any they have loved – a friend, family member, or even a pet. A parent guide in the back includes information on helping children manage the complex and difficult emotions they feel when they lose someone they love, as well as suggestions on how to create their own memory box.

Joanna Rowland grew up in Sacramento, California where she still lives today with her husband and three children. She teaches Kindergarten by day and writes picture books at night. In the summer you'll find her at the pool coaching synchronizing swimming or cozying up with a book.

Purchase The Memory Box

Also out this year: The Monstructor

See Joanna's website for more details!

 
Linda Joy Singleton

Linda Joy Singleton

A Cat Is Better

Picture Book

What makes cats better than dogs? Is it how gracefully they leap through the air? How much smarter they are than dogs? How much more musical and cleaner they are? Or is it how good they are at making you think they’re all these things?Find out why cats are the purrfect pet in this fantastically funny picture book!

Linda Joy Singleton is the author of over 40 books for kids, including the award-winning Seer series and the Dead Girl Walking trilogy. She lives in Northern California, where she enjoys life in the country with a barnyard of animals including horses, cats, dogs, and peacocks.

Purchase A Cat Is Better

Also out this year: Lucy Loves Goosey

See Linda Joy's website for more details!

 
Danna Smith

Danna Smith

The Hawk of the Castle: A Story of Medieval Falconry

Picture Book

Gentle verse and sweeping, majestic artwork set imaginations soaring in a handsome and illuminating ode to the ancient art of falconry. Join a young girl and her father, the falconer at a medieval castle, as they experience the joys of taking a goshawk out for a training flight. Bagram Ibatoulline’s masterful illustrations capture the vivid details and beauty of a day spent hawking, while Danna Smith’s poetic storytelling will make readers long to experience the art and sport of falconry firsthand.

Danna Smith grew up with a father who was a falconer and was fortunate to learn about falconry from him. She is the author of a number of picture books. The Hawk of the Castle is her first book with Candlewick Press. Danna Smith lives in northern California.

Purchase The Hawk of the Castle

See Danna's website for more details

 
Jessica Taylor

Jessica Taylor

A Map for Wrecked Girls

YA Thriller

Emma has always orbited Henri, her fierce, magnetic queen bee of an older sister, and the two have always been best friends. Until something happens that wrecks them. The girls wash up on shore, stranded. Their only companion is Alex, a troubled boy agonizing over his own secrets. Trapped in a gorgeous hell, Emma and Alex fall together as Emma and Henri fall catastrophically apart. To find their way home, the sisters must find their way back to each other. But there’s no map for this. Can they survive the unearthing of the past and the upheaval of the present?

Jessica Taylor adores atmospheric settings, dangerous girls, and characters who sneak out late at night. She lives in Northern California, not far from San Francisco, with a law degree she isn’t using, one dog, and many teetering towers of books.

Purchase A Map for Wrecked Girls

See Jessica's website for more details!

 
Elizabeth Varadan

Elizabeth Varadan

Dragonella

Picture Book

Dragonella is the only dragon at her new school. Other students – trolls, griffins and ogres – are frightened when she breathes fire. The teacher isn't happy when Dragonella's laughter melts the filing cabinet. But when Dragonella's flames save the day during the class party on Legend Day, the teacher and other students learn they shouldn't be quick to judge someone who is different.

Elizabeth Varadan has always loved the written word. She can never leave a library or book store empty-handed and has been scribbling stories her whole life. Her work for children has been published in Story Friends and LadyBug Magazine. She self-published a middle grade fantasy in 2008, "The Fourth Wish." Her MG mystery "Imogene and the Case of the Missing Pearls," set in Victorian England and involving Sherlock Holmes, was published in 2015 by MX Publishing. Dragonella was just released by Belanger Books.

Purchase Dragonella

See Elizabeth's website for more details!

 
Linda Whalen

Linda Whalen

Little Red Rolls Away

Picture Book

When Little Red Barn wakes one morning, he finds his animal friends have gone. He's empty and alone. And then big noisy machines lift him up and put him on a truck. As Little Red is transported across the countryside, down a major river, and through city streets, he feels anxious and a little afraid. Where is he going? Who will be there when he reaches his destination? When Little Red does finally reach his new home in a surprising location, he finds things are even better than before. The story of the little barn's relocation and adjustment to a new place will reassure and comfort young readers facing changes in their own lives.

Linda Whalen lives with her husband on a plot of land in Northern California. Born a city kid, she married a farm boy from the mid-west and fell in love with country life. Surrounded by family, pets and bunches of wild creatures, life is never dull. After working in and then owning her own child-care facility, Linda is now pursing her passion of writing for children. She also enjoys time spent with her art supplies.

Purchase Little Red Rolls Away

See Linda's website for more details!