Monday, September 21, 2015

Renee Hand, The Mystery of the Circus For Hire

AUTHOR: Award-Winning Author Renee Hand
BOOK TITLE: The Mystery of the Circus For Hire
GENRE: Children's Interactive Mystery
PUBLISHER: North Star Press
BUY LINK: and Amazon 

Renee, why don't you tell us about yourself?

First, I would like to thank you for having me on your blog. It's greatly appreciated. I'm a multi award-winning author and requested speaker on the topic of using fun fiction to teach science, geography and history. My books can not only challenge readers and the way they think about problems in real life, but I create high interest topics that suck the reader into my stories encouraging them into wanting to know more about the settings, science, history, culture and people. Skills like reading comprehension, reasoning, deduction and observation come together in a myriad of ways.

In my Crypto-Caper Series children get to solve puzzles and cryptograms that are woven strategically inside of the story for the reader to find and solve inside of the books. Each book provides the reader with what they will need to solve the case, providing them with the knowledge and new skills that will help them succeed.

In my Joe-Joe Nut Series, I combine the love of a good mystery with science using the topics of animal tracks, rocks and minerals, as well as weathering, erosion, and art. These books can supplement a curriculum in any classroom. The books also contain extra information like experiments, terminology of the topic, charts, and much more. All books are interactive and fun.

I have also created a coloring book for children, a zoo picture book that incorporates activities to do at the zoo, as well as a storytelling card game, which is getting a lot of my readers excited.

What age group do your books center on?

The Crypto-Caper Series is for 4th grade and up into middle school. The Joe-Joe Nut Series begins at 2nd grade and goes up to 5th. The coloring book and picture book are for younger children and my storytelling card game is for all ages including adults. 

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing for over 25 years.

What book are we going to talk about today?

We are going to focus on my new release in The Crypto-Caper Series called The Mystery of the Circus for Hire. The book is #6 in the series. I want to make sure I add that this book just won a Preferred Choice Award from Creative Child Magazine

Congratulations! Is this your first award?

No, I've won Preferred Choice Awards, National Best Book Awards, Seal of Excellence Awards, Best Book Awards, and won a Beach Best Book Award for all of my books. I'm very proud of my awards.

What is The Circus for Hire about?

The Circus for Hire is a whirlwind of an adventure where the Crypto-Capers travel to Russia to save Max and Mia's parents, Mitchem and Martha Holmes, from going to prison for a crime they didn't commit. Finding themselves caught up in a scandal that is beyond their control, they use their skills and talents to try to outsmart the most notorious criminal of all time. Lies become intermixed with truth, yet, with the help of a new ally, the Crypto-Capers find themselves ahead of the game.

I've incorporated a different cipher in this book so my readers are going to be thrilled. In all of my books I have added cryptograms, word scrambles, and other challenging puzzles. My readers love them and it makes this series unique.

Tell us about your cover?

My covers are conversation pieces. My illustrator and I work hard to make that so. Each cover reveals something about the story or has some type of historical background to it. I love the way they look.

Did your book require a lot of research? 

Yes. The books in this series are history based, though they are fiction so I always do tons of research. This story is centered around Russia. When doing research I found out that a company found treasure inside of an old building that was going to be knocked down and they were trying to figure out who it belonged to. It was this event that inspired the entire story. 

What influences your writing?

Many things influence my writing. My main goal is to engage the reader. I always have that in mind. Any way that I can get the reader sucked into my book wanting to know more about a particular place, person, or event, I will do. I feel readers should have that interaction. It makes the story more everlasting in the mind of the reader.

What comes first: the plot or characters?

Because this book is apart of a series, my main characters are already established so the plot needs to come first. Then the characters are enveloped with the direction for which I am going.

What do you plan for the future?

I have finished up book 4 in my Joe-Joe Nut Adventure Series called The Parade of Heroes. This book should be out in the Fall. Newly released is my historical romance called Loves Conqueror. Both can be found on Amazon and my website. 

What has been your favorite part of being an author? 

The greatest part about being an author is having that interaction with my readers. Whenever I do events and talk to children and adults who are excited about my book and have loved it, it fills me with pride. They are the ones I wrote the book for. To see a child's face light up when talking about it makes everything I do worth while.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I homeschool my kids, work part time, review books, and have a radio show. 

Where can readers buy your books?

Readers can buy my books at bookstores big and small, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, my website ( and other places. 

Are you on any social networks?

Of course. I'm on twitter @thecryptocaper and facebook as well as LinkedIN and Goodreads. I also have a blog at I like to help authors by having them on my radio show called Stories From Unknown Authors. My blog and website has more info about that.

Anything else you would like to mention about The Mystery of the Circus For Hire?

Sure. If anyone has a child who loves mysteries and solving puzzles then this book and series is right for you. With all the great elements I've added to this series, readers will benefit from them. They will be engaged and will learn a lot of historical information. Lots of time has been spent developing this series to be unique then any others. These books can be used in the classroom. Check out my website to see a sample of some of the puzzles and to get summaries about the other books in the series. 

Thank you for being on my blog.

You’re welcome and thank you. I appreciate the opportunity.


  1. I am, Cheryl, thanks for commenting. Also thank you for the post, Penny, it is greatly appreciated.

  2. Renee, working on two new stories to be released soon. Water Line and Willow Tree. will keep you posted.