Monday, August 29, 2016

Update on The Wildcat Orphan and the Mysterious Box

My new middle grade adventure novel will be released in early October! Above is the new front and back covers created by a graphic artist on

Sneak peek:

Chapter 1
Temper Tantrum

            The moment after I smashed my violin over my teacher’s head I knew I was in big trouble. I was ten and told I behaved like a wildcat when provoked. And Miss Penelope had provoked me. She began my grueling lesson late and in a foul mood. It continued with constant disapproval.
            “No, no, no, Georgie,” shouted my petite but ruthless teacher over the squeaking of the violin. “The E string is all wrong! Do it again.”
            On that sweltering day in May, 1897, the open windows did little to cool the music room even if a rare breeze came along. I pushed my long, damp curls away from my eyes and proceeded to play the music piece again. It was a difficult one because all five of my fingers had to be on the strings at the same time and they ached, especially my pinkie. I had been taking violin lessons for more than two years. It was still torture for me to play as well as torture to listen to the horrid noise I made.
            “Again, Georgie. And again and again, until you get that E-string right. Now concentrate.”
            Miss Penelope’s face was getting apple red which matched her apple-shaped body. I didn’t like her after the first lesson, and I could tell she didn’t like me. But we had no choice, so we were stuck together in the music room three times a week.
I sighed as I stood with my child-size instrument resting on my shoulder. I glanced at the grandfather clock across the room. My lesson was almost over. I was looking forward to my afternoon ritual of visiting my secret swimming hole with my pony, Prince.
            Because I was not concentrating on the music, the violin screeched even louder than before. Miss Penelope shocked me with a harsh rap on my knuckles with a ruler she had hidden in the folds of her long skirt. It really stung but the smug look on her face hurt me more, like she had enjoyed smacking me.
            It was enough to let my firecracker temper loose. In an outburst of rage, I grabbed my violin by the neck and shattered the expensive instrument over my teacher’s head.
            “That does it,” shrieked Miss Penelope. “I’m through, you little wildcat!”
            Within a couple of weeks, I found myself shipped on a train to places unknown. I knew that Grandpa did not want to be proven wrong about his theories on child rearing. There were plenty of other children in the orphanage that he could experiment with his philosophies.