shallow graves

Introducing my new monthly newsletter


I am starting a monthly newsletter to provide readers with updates and news. Stay Out of the Forest will go out no more than once a month, and it will contain book news, publishing updates, occasional musings on writing and publishing, recommendations and raves, and, of course, a collection of cocktail recipes. I promise to keep things interesting, and I will never spam you with unrelated emails.

This is my way of staying in touch with readers, friends, and fellow authors in a publishing world that has become increasingly overwhelmed by the fast-moving and aggressive social media environment. Because I write everything from adventurous children's novels to high-concept speculative short fiction, I want a way to reach all interested readers and colleagues without individual announcements being lost in the shuffle.

As thanks for signing up, all new subscribers will receive a sneak peek at the first chapter of CITY OF ISLANDS.

If you are want to receive the newsletter, please provide your email via the form below. You'll receive an email containing a link to a PDF with the CITY OF ISLANDS chapter. Thank you very much!

Raising funds for The Dark

The fantastic horror magazine The Dark is fundraising for its next two years of operation, expansion, and filling you brain with disturbing and unsettling stories. I've published one story with The Dark (Caroline at Dusk) and hope to publish with them in the future, as they're a wonderful market full of creepy and unique stories, and they were a joy to work with.

So I'm offering up some rewards for their Kickstarter:

1. A signed advanced readers copy of CITY OF ISLANDS, my upcoming children's fantasy novel;

2. Signed hardcover copies of both Shallow Graves and The Memory Trees;

3. A custom cross-stitch featuring a quotation and imagery from Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House.

There are a bunch of authors offering books, critiques, artwork, and more. Check it out:

The Dark Magazine: Two More Years of Unsettling Fiction!

a starred review and a great deal

MemoryTrees HC C.JPG

I am delighted to report that The Memory Trees has received a second starred review, this one in the September 2017 issue of the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. They say:

"There is a lot to unpack here, from the tenderness and toxicity that can simultaneously exist in families, to the rippling effect of mental illness, to history’s ability to bring guilt to a faultless generation, and to the search for a solid identity among all those jagged pieces. The orchard’s role in uncovering the truth behind her sister’s death adds a hint of magical realism and mystique, as do the interspersed chapters narrated by Sorrow’s ancestors that allude to but never confirm the orchard’s magical properties."

ShallowGraves HC C.JPG

As of September 5, 2017, Shallow Graves is now available in paperback:

Find buy options here

And the ebook version is currently on sale for $1.99:

Kindle | Nook


March 11 at Mysterious Galaxy

Join me and fellow YA authors Elizabeth Briggs and Emily Skrutskie this Saturday, March 11, 2017, at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego! It's part of Elizabeth's tour to launch her novel FUTURE THREAT, and we'll be talking about speculative fiction world-building in a changing world, writing kickass female characters, and the ups and downs of being an author. 

Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore

March 11, 2017 at 2 p.m.

5943 Balboa Avenue, Suite #100, San Diego, CA 92111

Shallow Graves in the UK!

I am delighted to announce that Shallow Graves is being released in the United Kingdom today! 

It is available in hardback, ebook, and audio formats. Here are some places you can buy it online:

 HarperCollins UK

Amazon UK 



And, of course, no matter where you are in the world, you can get free delivery from Book Depository.

today is book day

My first novel Shallow Graves is out in the world today! You can find it anywhere books are sold, including the following places:


Barnes & Noble


I love my little book and I hope you love it too. 

I will be having a launch party at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego this Saturday, January 30, at 4 p.m. 

Guest post at YA Highway

I wrote a guest post for YA Highway about creating mood and atmosphere in writing:

Guest Post and Giveaway: On Setting the Mood and Walking Through Graveyards

There's a ghost town called Rosita in the Wet Mountains of southern Colorado. It was born in the 1870s, one of the dozens of mining camps that evolved into towns during Colorado's silver rush, and like most it's boom days didn't last very long. There's almost nothing of it left now: only the name, the old post office, and the graveyard. The graveyard is still there.
It's a pretty, quiet cemetery. I've only been there once, and that was when I was in high school, but I remember the warm afternoon sun on yellow grass, the vanilla scent of the ponderosa pines, the quiet. And I remember a trio of little white gravestones, identical and all in a row, marking the graves of three children from the same family. All three were under the age of four, and all three had died within two weeks of each other in November of 1880. Their parents aren't buried in the same graveyard.

There's also a chance to win one of five ARCs of SHALLOW GRAVES!