Timestorm and Martina and the Musician

Happy autumn!

Timestorm, the children’s audio fiction series Michael and I are producing through Cocotazo Media, launches next month. We’ve had a blast recording the first five episodes. The cast is incredibly talented – and it includes many dear friends and family members!

When twelve-year-old twins Alexa and Beni Ventura are sucked into an inter-dimensional portal, they meet a distant cousin who presents them with an incredible mission: travel through time to uncover hidden moments from their culture’s past. Along the way, they meet people from Africa, Europe, and the Americas who have left their mark on Puerto Rican heritage…only their names aren’t found in history books.

In the twenty-first century, Alexa and Beni navigate middle school, friendship, and home life while keeping their time-traveling pursuits secret. When a natural disaster devastates islands across the Caribbean, the twin’s come to understand just what’s at stake for their ancestral home. As Puerto Rico faces an uncertain future, Alexa and Beni do all they can to witness, find, and remember its past. 

The series launches on November 25 and is available wherever you listen to podcasts. Here are the trailers:

You can subscribe now on PlayerFM or Radio Public. Links for Apple Podcasts, GooglePlay, and Overcast coming soon.

I also had a couple of short scripts, Martina and the Musician and Crap, produced by Cocotazo Audio Theatre. Martina and the Musician has been nominated for a few Audio Verse Awards: Audio Engineering (Michael Aquino), Writing (Me!), and Production. You can check out all of the amazing shows in the AVA nominee showcase and then vote for your favorites in the first round here.

And, finally, publication update! The 7th Grade Sleuths Book #2: Ignacio in the Dark (Overdue Books, 2019) is coming this winter! Check back soon for more details and a cover reveal.

The Night Bazaar, Continuing the Conversation, Sakura Medal Nomination

 
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Publication news! You can read my short story “Vista Eterna” in the new horror anthology The Night Bazaar: Eleven Haunting Tales of Forbidden Wishes and Dangerous Desires, edited by Lenore Hart (Northampton House Press). This is a bewitching collection of short fiction for adults. I’m thrilled to have my writing included along with excellent short pieces by ten other authors. The book is available now through all major online outlets including Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Here's what Publishers Weekly said about the collection: “Appealing to those who like their fantasy served with a side of psychological horror, this anthology is sure to entertain.”

On the theatre side of things, Work With Us, a short musical I co-wrote with Michael Aquino (my husband), will be part of Dreamcatcher Rep’s event “Continuing the Conversation: An Evening of Short Plays in Response to the Election” on February 2 at 7:30pm. The evening features readings of eight works written by local playwrights and will be followed by a talk back discussion. Tickets are $20 and benefit the organization Interweave. You can buy tickets here.

One final piece of good news—I learned that Who’s Ju? has been nominated for a 2017 Sakura Medal, which is organized by 22 international schools across Japan. The program encourages students to read books in English and Japanese from lists prepared by library media specialists. It’s an honor to have my work recognized by school librarians in Japan and I love knowing that middle school students on the other side of the world are reading Ju’s story!

Multicultural Children's Book Day

Multicultural Children's Book Day is January 27th! I'm proud to be a sponsor author for this excellent initiative that provides useful information and resources to help spread the word about diverse children's literature. Here's how you can participate in MCCBD:

In other news, last week I had a blast meeting with the sixth graders at Valley Middle School in Oakland, New Jersey. What a great group!

 
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Building 21, Reading Through Life, and VOYA

 
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I had a lot of fun visiting Building 21 in Allentown, Pennsylvania, last month. I met with four groups of students, including Heather Harlen's Writing Life pathway. This is a bright group of 9th graders who were gearing up to teach local 4th graders about the elements of storytelling. I'm grateful to have spent an afternoon in Ms. Harlen's classroom.

Who's Ju has received reviews from Crystal Brunelle's Reading Through Lifeblog ("...a solidly done mystery") and the October issue of VOYA magazine (Reviewer, Laura Lehner: "...a solid entry into tween realistic fiction").

COMING UP! Saturday, November 21: I'll be participating in the Puerto Rican Authors Book Expo at Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture (450 Grand Concourse, Bronx) from 12-7pm. It's held in conjunction with Comité Noviembre's Puerto Rican Artisan Fair and Exhibit. Come support local authors and artists...and maybe get some holiday shopping in before Black Friday!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Latino Rebels Interview

I had the chance to chat with author Jonathan Marcantoni during an interview for Latino Rebels. Here's what Jonathan had to say about Who's Ju:

The book works as both a fun, classic mystery and a serious investigation into the key questions all people face: “Who am I? And why am I the way that I am?”

That this story is told from the perspective of a young Puerto Rican girl is significant in that not so long ago, Latina heroines for young adult readers were in short supply. It is a testament to Mrs. Ramos’s talent that the book is at once culture specific and universal.

Check out the interview here.