Jenn Reese, Awesome Middle Grade Author

Jenn Reese, Awesome Middle Grade Author

Jenn Reese

Jenn Ree

It’s not Writer Wednesday, but sometimes you just gotta break tradition! So, here we go!

Another one of those fantastic writers that I hang out with (and who humbles me with her snippets of awesomeness) is Jenn Reese. I’ve known Jenn since before I began my writing journey; she’s one of the very first people who assured me I can do this. (She’s still assuring me, and I don’t take that for granted one little bit.)

So, in my totally unbiased opinion, Above World is an adventure that ANY middle-grade reader would devour.

But before I introduce you to the books, here’s more about Jenn from her Amazon page:

“Writer. Martial artist. Geek.

Jenn writes science fiction and fantasy stories about heroes and adventure and lasting friendships. Her short stories have appeared online in Strange Horizons and in a number of anthologies, including the World Fantasy Award-winning Paper Cities. She makes her home in Los Angeles, a sun-bleached desert city of freaks that she absolutely loves. When she’s not sitting in traffic, she’s studying martial arts, playing video games, and dreaming of rain.

For more information on her stories, novels, and adventures, visit” 

Here’s the scoop from Amazon:

Jenn Reese's middle-grade debut, Above World

Jenn Reese’s middle-grade debut, Above World

  A suspenseful sci-fi escapade plucks two children out of the ocean for a thrilling adventure. Thirteen-year-old Aluna has lived her entire life under the ocean with the Coral Kampii in the City of Shifting Tides. But after centuries spent hidden from the Above World, her colony’s survival is at risk. The Kampii’s breathing necklaces are failing, but the elders are unwilling to venture above water to seek answers. Only headstrong Aluna and her friend Hoku are stubborn and bold enough to face the terrors of land to search for way to save their people. But can Aluna’s fierce determination and fighting skills and Hoku’s tech-savvy keep them safe? Set in a world where overcrowding has led humans to adapt – growing tails to live under the ocean or wings to live on mountains – here is a ride through a future where greed and cruelty have gone unchecked, but the loyalty of friends remains true.

And Book Two, Mirage…

Book Two in the Trilogy

Book Two in the Trilogy

A thrilling sequel from an exciting new voice in middle-grade sci-fi tracks two ocean-born children braving the dangers of the Above World. The desert is no place for ocean-dwelling Kampii like Aluna and Hoku, especially now that Aluna has secretly started growing her tail. But the maniacal Karl Strand is out to conquer the Above World, and the horselike Equians are next on his list. Aluna, Hoku, and their friends — winged Calli and Equian exile Dash — race to the desert city of Mirage, intent on warning the Equians. When they arrive, Strand’s clone, Scorch, has gotten there first. Now the Equian leader has vowed to take all his people to war as part of Strand’s army. Any herd that refuses to join him by the time of the desert-wide competition known as the Thunder Trials will be destroyed. To have any chance of defeating Scorch and convincing the Equians to switch sides, the four friends must find a way to win the Trials. The challenge seems impossible. But if they fail, the desert — and possibly all of the Above World — will be lost to Karl Strand forever. Here is the action-packed follow-up to Above World, which Kirkus Reviews called “a thrilling sci-fi adventure. Imaginative and riveting.”

And of course, there’s a third book, coming in February 2014! Here’s Horizon, available for pre-order.


Aluna and Hoku, Kampii from the City of Shifting Tides, and their friends, Equian Dash

Horizon, Book Three in the Above World Trilogy

Horizon, Book Three in the Above World Trilogy

and winged Aviar Calli, are determined to stop a war. The maniacal ex-scientist Karl Strand is planning to conquer the world with his enormous army of tech-enhanced soldiers . . . unless the four friends can get to Strand first. Aluna’s plan is dangerous: pose as Upgraders and infiltrate the army. But the enemy isn’t what they expected and the strategy begins to crumble. When the friends are torn apart by conflicting allegiances, their slim chance of avoiding war seems to disappear completely. For Aluna and Hoku, what began as a quest to save their own people has become a mission to save the world. But do Aluna and her friends have any hope of defeating Strand if they can’t take him on together?



If you have middle grade readers, add these books to their Christmas – they and you will be glad you did! Again, these are books worth giving in hardcover, as they will be read over and over again.

I have SO MANY talented friends. Do you know middle grade authors who deserve a shout out? Feel free to put a link in the comments…after all, Christmas is coming.

Thanks for stopping by – big squishy hugs to you all!


Writer Wednesday – Showcasing Anne Nesbet

Writer Wednesday – Showcasing Anne Nesbet

Middle Grade Writer Extraordinaire

Writers tend to gather. Sometimes online, often in person, but with other writers who they admire, like, are inspired by, and who truly get the journey. I have been incredibly lucky to belong to a small online group of women writers that support each other as we traverse the storms of publishing and life. One of these women is Anne Nesbet, a hugely talented Middle Grade author.

I get to read snippets of her work before it’s polished, and I am always transported. No one puts words together quite like Anne.

Anne is currently on sabbatical to France, where she is traveling and gathering information for a research-type book, but also gathering information for her next middle grade novel. This next bit is from her Amazon Page:

“Anne Nesbet teaches Russian literature and the history of film at U. C. Berkeley. She lives near San Francisco with her husband, several daughters, and one irrepressible dog. THE CABINET OF EARTHS is her first novel. You can visit her online at”

Anne Nesbet, Author and Teacher

Anne Nesbet, Author and Teacher

She’s working on a new novel that I can’t talk about, but holy moly is it fascinating! I haven’t yet read THE CABINET OF EARTHS but it’s on my list.


Here’s the Amazon description of The Cabinet of Earths:

“The Cabinet of Earths, Anne Nesbet’s debut novel for tweens, blends fantasy, science, and horror into an irresistible story in the vein of the classic His Dark Materials series.

Twelve-year-old Maya is miserable when she has to move from California to Paris. Not speaking French at a school full of snobby French girls is bad enough, but Maya believes there is something sinister going on in her new city. A purple-eyed man follows Maya and her younger brother, James. Statues seem to have Maya’s face. And an eerie cabinet filled with mysterious colored bottles calls to her.

When James becomes the target of dark forces, Maya decides she must answer the call of the Cabinet of Earths, despite the danger.”

Anne has a sequel to it, as well, called A BOX OF GARGOYLES…take a look!

A Box of Gargoyles by Anne Nesbet

A Box of Gargoyles by Anne Nesbet

Here’s what Amazon has to say about Gargoyles…

“Fans of Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass will love Anne Nesbet’s middle-grade fantasy A Box of Gargoyles.

In this sequel to The Cabinet of Earths, twelve-year-old Maya is feeling more at home in Paris, a city filled with old magic. Her little brother, James, is safe, and the terrible man with purple eyes is gone. At least Maya believed he was until a person-sized column of dust and leaves with hints of purple where its eyes should be begins following her.

Maya suspects the strange, shadowy column is what’s left of the purple-eyed man, and that it—he—is behind the eerie changes in Paris, including the appearance of flying, talking stone gargoyles. She’s right. Worse, he has bound Maya to make him whole again, even if it kills her.”

If you’ve got a Middle Grade reader, surprise them this holiday with Anne’s books. And when they’re busy doing other things, read them yourself. I have a feeling you’ll be as transported as your child.

What are the kids in your life reading these days?


Thanks so much for stopping by!