That Time When Dr. Seuss was Your English Teacher

Another year, another set of teachers.  That’s what happens at Vita Post Mortem Academy, a school run by famous dead people. Having special abilities, like being able to see spirits, means extra responsibilities. Jules Winklevoss, the protagonist in my fifth book, The Curse of the Winklevoss Twins, learns that firsthand when she returns for another adventure at the prized academy.

Check out the line up of teachers she has for her sophomore year:

Science: Marie Curie
Math: Charles Ponzi
English: Dr. Seuss
Social Studies: Princess Diana
Psychology: Steve Jobs

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Monsters or Heroes?

As Halloween approaches, I’ve been thinking a lot about monsters. Ghosts, mummies, and zombies will haunt the streets in a few weeks, scaring children and tricking homeowners for treats, but just like a 9-year old boy in a werewolf costume, is there a little sugar sweet kindness beneath all that blood and gore?

Today’s popular fantasy fiction tells us that sometimes the monsters are the heroes. Perhaps they are actually selfless, innocent victims, fighting their instincts to protect the ones they love. Here’s a few examples.

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Lena Duchannes, from the book and movie, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, is a Caster (in layman’s terms, a witch). Due to a family curse, she will find out if she is a light or dark Caster on her sixteenth birthday, and there is nothing she can do about it. Of course, before all this happens, she falls in love with a non-Caster.  Serious trouble.

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Witches are bad, but how about aliens? Daemon Black from the book Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout, is the hot, arrogant alien who lives next door. An entire galaxy of enemies want to kill him, and Katy can’t keep her hands off him.

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Lastly, I can’t write a blog post about monsters fighting their instincts without including my main squeeze, Edward Cullen from Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. Vampires were made to love and kill. Very dramatic.

As I write my next book series about a girl who goes to school in a haunted mansion, I struggle with the definition of monster.  Who is the bad guy? Who saves the day? It might be the same person! (Or ghost!) Stayed tuned for more on my Bone-Chilling series.