Nancy's Books

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Trouble in Troublesome Creek/ Mysteries/ Two Contests

My latest book, Trouble in Troublesome Creek, has just been released. Dead fish floating in the swimming hole spell trouble for the kids who like to swim in Troublesome Creek. Stinnnnky! Along with dead fish, they find a cave with flapping, fluttering bats and strange, metal rocks. Later, they discover the rocks are Minnie balls, old bullets left by soldiers from the Civil War, about 150 years ago. Follow the adventure of the Troublesome Creek kids as they help clean up the environment and solve a mystery.

The first review: Lively story...very highly recommended as an inspiring example of persistence, bravery and spirit for young readers.—Midwest Press

Check out the book trailer on this blog. Column on right.

This week’s writing tip focuses on mysteries.

Figure out the ending before you begin writing. By knowing the ending you can make a list of clues to drop throughout the story. One clue should be crucial and provide a piece of important information that enables the main character to solve the problem. The story plot is all about solving the mystery.

Add suspense by allowing the characters to get into scary situations. Readers will build empathy for the characters and become scared too. Characters experiencing the problem should solve the problem on their own, in children’s and adult books.

For teachers:

Spelunking is the sport of exploring caves. Students imagine they are spelunking for the first time. What three items would they take with them? If they became lost in a cave, what would they do to try to find the way back out? Should one person become the leader? If so, how should the leader be chosen? Divide class into groups comprised of 3 of 4 four students to brainstorm ideas. Each group will create a story in which they become lost in a cave and will perform their story in a skit.


1. Kiwi Publishing

We are currently looking for stories about the teachers and mentors who inspired you to be your best and become the person you are. That person may have been an educator, music instructor, manager, or friend. Do you have a special person who helped change your life, pushed you to excel, and is the thin thread to your success today?

To make sure we have a chance to read your story, we have extended the submission deadline through May 2, 2010. More details at Remember, your story can win $1000: $500 for you AND $500 for your favorite charity.

2. Tenth Anniversary Novella Contest
A novella is a fictional work longer than a short story and shorter than a novel. Send only the first 5,000 words. More details at Note: Will not consider anything that’s been published, either in print or on the Web. You will be contacted if the editor wants to read the entire work.


    April is National Poetry Month. The 3rd Annual “Paws for Poetry” Contest Challenges Kids to Write Sonnets to Spaniels, Prose for Persian Cats

    Colorado Springs, CO (March1, 2010) –April marks the 14th anniversary of National Poetry Month.
    To help celebrate, budding Emily Dickinsons and Edgar Allan Poes are encouraged to participate in the 3rd annual “Paws for Poetry” Contest ( To enter, children ages 5-12 are to write a poem to, and provide a photo of, their favorite animal friend. The contest is co-sponsored by kids’ virtual field trip Web site Meet Me at the Corner ( and Flashlight Press ( ).

    Original poems of any length may be submitted in one of two categories: Group One (ages 5-9) and Group Two (ages 10-12). One grand prize winner in each category will receive a prize package worth $50.00. Two runners-up in each category will receive a $25.00 gift package. Children’s author, poet, and Iraqi war veteran Thad Krasnesky, writer of the upcoming “That Cat Can’t Stay” (Flashlight Press, 2010) is the contest judge.

    In addition to the prize packages, winning poems and pet photos will be highlighted in an upcoming Meet Me at the Corner video pod cast. The pod cast will be videotaped at New York’s Angellicle Cat Rescue Center. Local students will present the winning poems.

    All submissions should be mailed to “Paws for Poetry” Contest, c/o Meet Me at the Corner, 20 West Del Norte, Colorado Springs, CO, 80908. The contest deadline is April 15, 2010.

    For more information, rules and submission guidelines, visit

  2. Thank you so much for posting this information.