Marley’s Ghost

When Marley died in a freak motorcycle accident, no one took it harder than his two nephews, Aaron and Kyler. Seventeen-year-old Aaron, who was adopted from China via a religious charity, worries that the heaven he was taught about is not for sinners like his uncle. But how could a benevolent God refuse a nice guy like Marley? And if being a nice guy is all that it takes to get into heaven, why bother to go to church? And is it wrong to even think such thoughts, especially now that he’s starting to date Vanessa, the most faithful girl in the youth group?

Meanwhile, fifteen-year-old Kyler has lost the only person who ever treated him like a normal kid. Always in fragile health, Kyler is constantly babied by his family. His uncle was the only adult who didn’t treat him like he would break. Marley encouraged Kyler to take risks, to be assertive, and to maybe ask out Jessica, his long time crush. Now that Marley is gone, Kyler is doomed to more years of ointments, noise-cancelling headphones, and gluten-free snacks. How is this fair?

When closing down Marley’s fishing cabin, the cousins discover some geographic coordinates that point to a location in a South Carolina swamp. They’re probably nothing…except someone has started following the boys, trying to get those papers. Something is in that swamp. Something Marley buried there. Something big.

Accompanied by Vanessa and Jessica, the boys head off on a Maine to South Carolina road trip to discover Marley’s legacy, and maybe to say good bye to their uncle in their own way.


Deacon Locke Went to Prom
Promposals are taking over Deacon Locke’s high school and there is no place left to hide. But even with graduation looming, shy and unusually tall Deacon doesn’t think he can get up the nerve to ask anyone to the dance. Especially given all the theatrics.

It isn’t until Deacon confides in his witty and outgoing best friend Jean that he realizes should could be a great person to take. Only problem is Jean isn’t your typical prom date. She’s older. A lot older. And she’s Deacon’s grandmother.

But when Deacon meets Soraya—a girl unlike any other he’s ever met—he fears he has totally squandered his chances of having a prom he’ll never forget. Deacon couldn’t be more wrong. About everything.

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The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak
The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak is Stonewall Book Award-winning author Brian Katcher’s hilarious he said/she said romance about two teens recovering from heartbreak and discovering themselves on an out-of-this-world accidental first date.

It all begins when Ana Watson’s little brother, Clayton, secretly ditches the quiz bowl semifinals to go to the Washingcon sci-fi convention on what should have been a normal, résumé-building school trip.

If slacker Zak Duquette hadn’t talked up the geek fan fest so much, maybe Clayton wouldn’t have broken nearly every school rule or jeopardized Ana’s last shot at freedom from her uptight parents.

Now, teaming up with Duquette is the only way for Ana to chase down Clayton in the sea of orcs, zombies, bikini-clad princesses, Trekkies, and Smurfs. After all, one does not simply walk into Washingcon.

But in spite of Zak’s devil-may-care attitude, he has his own reasons for being as lost as Ana-and Ana may have more in common with him than she thinks. Ana and Zak certainly don’t expect the long crazy night, which begins as a nerdfighter manhunt, to transform into so much more…

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Everyone Dies in the End 

Sherman Andrews is going places. At seventeen, he’s been accepted in the Missouri Scholars Academy, a summer college program for the academically-oriented. He is determined to become an award-winning investigative journalist. Sherman has had a ten-year plan since he was eight, and is determined to make something of his life, unlike his low-brow plumber father or his absent mother.

While doing some research, Sherman comes across a photograph of four men, dated 1935. When a little digging reveals that three of the men were murdered shortly after the picture was taken, Sherman’s interest is piqued. He soon uncovers Depression-era records of deaths, disappearances, and cover-ups on an almost unbelievable scale. Too late, Sherman realizes that the organization responsible is still around, and they do not appreciate outside interest. They’re prepared to take drastic measures to keep him quiet, even if it means shutting him up permanently.

After narrowly escaping from a well-planned assassination attempt, Sherman must decide if he wants to flee for his life, or risk everything to become the reporter he’s always wanted to be. There are only two people he can trust to help him. One is Charlie, the cute, chubby student librarian at the historical society, who might have her eye on Sherman for another reason. The other is Denton, a wild-eyed conspiracy theorist. He claims that the organization is led by a shadowy man who died in 1966…and 1935…and 1864. The fact that Denton has been forcibly committed to the local mental hospital is just an unfortunate misunderstanding.

As the trio continues their investigation, they uncover things that have been buried for eighty years–often literally. They begin to suspect that something evil is about to reappear. And Sherman, with his dictaphone, his ironed socks, and his ten-page resume, may be the only one who can prevent a tragedy.

Interspersed with flashbacks to the original 1935 adventurers, Everyone Dies is a light-hearted coming of age story about love, growing up, and what it’s like to be buried alive.

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Everyone Dies in the End, Dark Continents Publishing (March, 2014)


Almost Perfect

Logan Whitherspoon recently discovered that his girlfriend of three years cheated on him. Since then–much to his friends’ dismay–he has been depressed, pessimistic, and obsessed with this ex, Brenda.

But things start to look up for Logan when a new student breezes through the halls of his small-town high school. Tall, unconventionally pretty, and a bit awkward, Sage Hendricks somehow appeals to Logan even at a time when he trusts no one. As Logan learns more about Sage, he realizes that she needs a friend as much as he does, if not more. She has been home-schooled for several years, and her parents have forbidden her to date, but she won’t tell Logan why. The mystery of Sage’s past and the oddities of her personality intrigue Logan, and one day, he acts on his growing attraction and kisses her. Moments later, however, he wishes he hadn’t. Sage finally discloses her big secret: she’s actually a boy. Read More… Buy

Winner of the 2011 Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award

Almost Perfect made the American Library Association’s  2010 list of Best Books for Young Adults.

Almost Perfect, Delecorte Press for Young Readers (October, 2009) ISBN: 978-0385736640


Playing With Matches

Some guys are born handsome, but seventeen-year-old Leon Sanders has a mug that looks like it should be hanging in a post office with the caption “wanted for shoplifting and credit card fraud”. Thanks to his twisted sense of humor, he’s managed to go from nerdy to unknown. Leon’s new locker neighbor is Melody Hennon, an unfortunate girl whose face was horribly disfigured from a childhood accident. When Leon takes a chance and makes her laugh, he discovers that underneath the scarred skin, Melody is a funny, smart, and interesting person. Leon never predicted that he and Melody would become good friends…and maybe more.

Although Leon second-guesses his own growing feelings for Melody and worries about what people will think of the two of them dating, he’s happy to have someone in his life who treats him like he’s special. But when Amy Green, cheerleader and Leon’s long-time crush, asks him out, his devotion to Melody hangs in the balance. Leon tries to find a way out of this dilemma without hurting anyone, but soon realizes–a little too late–that playing with someone’s heart is as dangerous as playing with matches. Read More… Buy Now

Playing With Matches made the American Library Association’s  2009 list of Best Books for Young Adults.

Winner of the 2010-2011 North Carolina Young Adult Book Award

Playing With Matches, Delacorte Press For Young Readers (July, 2008) ISBN: 978-0385735445