Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October Blog Hop, Join the Fun and Follow Along

The Next Big Thing . . .

We are blog hopping our way through some new reads, including works in progress and new and upcoming releases.  For those who aren’t familiar with a blog hop, once you find something on one blog, you hop on over to the next blog link for more information.  In this case, the information is a wealth of new and exciting books.  Some are still being written, and some are just being released.  Either way, for fiction lovers . . . it’s a treasure, and I’d like to thank Marva Dasef for tagging me to participate.

In this particular hop I answer ten questions . . . you get to learn about my soon to be released middle grade novels, some of the characters in the book, and what inspired me along the way. When it’s all said & done . . . comments and questions are always welcome. 

What is the working title of your book?
I will be releasing two middle grade novels as part of a series with 4RV Publishing.  They are Ghost for Rent and Ghost for Lunch.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
Ghost for Rent is being re-released with a new round of edits, having first been published a number of years ago as an eBook with Hardshell Word Factory. A neighbor who had recently gotten divorced told me about a rental home she had moved into.  At night, she and her children had heard music coming from an old piano left at the house.  When they went to investigate, they saw a ghostly figure seated before the keyboard.  One thing led to another, and Ghost for Rent was born.

Ghost for Lunch has most of the same characters, but this time, the ghost is compliments of a story published in our local newspaper about a haunting at a local restaurant.

What genre does your book fall under?
These would be middle-grade paranormal mysteries.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Unfortunately, I’m not that familiar with young actors.  My MC female is eleven in the first book and twelve in the second.  Her best friend in the first book is a few months younger. Her brother the MC male is twelve in the first book and thirteen (almost fourteen) in the second. A second male MC shows up in the second book who is thirteen, as well. There are also their parents. 

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Ghost for Rent:  Three young sleuths face ghosts and skepticism to unravel the mystery of their haunted house.

Ghost for Lunch: Ghostly sightings and unusual noises send three young sleuths searching for answers.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

The book is neither self-published nor represented by an agency.  I submitted the books myself to a small traditional publisher, 4RV Publishing. I am thrilled to be a part of this family operation.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The first draft of Ghost for Rent took a couple of months. Edits took much longer.  The first draft of Ghost for Lunch took over a year as my available writing time was depleted by family obligations.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Lilah’s Ghost – Deb Logan
The Ghost at Old Oak Way – Laurie Cameron and Laura Meagher
Ghosts in the Gazebo – Judy McMullen
The Ghost Belonged to Me – Richard Peck

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
My first inspiration for this series was my daughter.  I’d been writing for several years, but I had only published in magazines.  While I loved seeing my byline, my daughter didn’t consider me a “real” writer since I hadn’t written a book. I knew it would take a lot longer to write a book, but I decided I should make the effort.  Ghost for Rent was the end product, and I was thrilled when I found a publisher for it.  At the time, electronic publishing was still in its infancy, but I was willing to give it a try, especially since they also offered the book in a POD version.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Besides the chills and thrills of ghost hunting, these books deal with issues kids face everyday.  In Ghost for Rent, Wendy’s parents separate, forcing the family to move from the big city to a small rural community.  When the ghosts first appear, her mother doesn’t believe her and her brother, as older brothers do, torments her.  She makes a new friend, and eventually she and her brother form a bond.

In Ghost for Lunch, Wendy faces the loss of her best friend who moves to California.  Along with the loss though, comes a new friend…a boy and feelings she doesn’t understand.

Here’s the list of my tagged blog hop authors for next week.  Check out their blogs next Wednesday, October 24th to read about their WIPs and New Releases:

Susan Royal -

Sara Durham –

Kelly Whitley


  1. Interesting post. GHOST FOR RENT and GHOST FOR LUNCH are both on my TBR book list.

  2. Hi Penny. What interesting stories for the YA audience. I bet they keep the readers glued to their seats.

    Are any out in hard copy? I'd like to get them for my grandkids for Christmas and they don't have E-readers. Of course I could have mom put an app on her computer and they could read them on the pc. Let me know.

  3. Susanne, thanks for stopping by.
    Lorrie, I hope they'll be available for Christmas. They will actually be print books, as that is what 4RV Publishing does...quality print books for children and adults. We are behind schedule, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a release before Christmas.

  4. Penny, both of these sound wonderful, and it was fun to see the inspiration behind the stories. I love ghost stories, and to have them in print will be awesome!


  5. Thanks, Sarah. I've enjoyed ghost stories for a long time, so writing them was just plain fun.

  6. Hi Penny, your stories sound like they will be perfect for your MG audience! Keep me posted on their release!

  7. All of Penny's books are topnotch. I'm sure I've got at least one of the Ghost series on my Kindle. I'll hunt it down for a read-soon.

  8. Thanks everyone fro stopping by. I'll certainly be letting everyone know when the Ghosts are released upon the world.

  9. I hope your daughter thinks you're a real writer now. It's so interesting how our children perceive us. Next thing you know, she'll be asking for autographed copies for all her friends. Best of luck! I will have to check on 4RV!

  10. Thanks, Janet. Yes, she does. In fact, she invited me to do an "author presentation" to her Montessori classroom. It was fun for me, and I think the kids enjoyed talking with a "real" writer.