With Love from the Past >> MARCH 22

I'm thrilled to announce that my latest novel is edited, formatted, and on its way to bookstores near you in physical and eBook formats (exact date still TBD). Here are some tidbits about the upcoming release!

Title: With Love from the Past

Tagline: Three deadly riddles. Two "unforgivable" betrayals. And one last chance to prove you're not who you once were.

Genres: Suspense, Mystery, Young Adult

Publisher: Ambassador International

Summary: All Ari can remember about her past life is that it left her exhausted, friendless, and directionless. But things start looking up when, our of nowhere, she lands the perfect new job. 

Or so she thinks. Until one of her teammates is found dead. 

The police rule death by natural causes, but Ari finds a note taped to her door with a cryptic riddle that promises to identify the killer. With no one to trust, not even her closest friends, will Ari be able to unravel the mystery - and her past - while staying true to her deepest convictions?

Background: I started writing this novel shortly after my sixteenth birthday while I was recovering from a hit-and-run ski accident. Throughout two unexpected surgeries, physical therapy, and a (creaky) new knee, I worked through the central moral dilemma of this novel in real life: is there anything that can't, or shouldn't, be forgiven? The answer, I decided, is no. Because forgiving doesn't mean forgetting, but without forgiveness, the one who suffers most is the one who was hurt. And that's what Ari discovers as she fights to save her friends (and her friendships). She witnesses both the hurt that comes from unforgiveness and the healing that comes from forgiveness and is ultimately forced to decide how she will address her own past - just as I did.

For those of you who have read my second novel, Made for Mercy, you'll recognize that this novel takes place in the same near-future universe. (If you haven't, what are you waiting for?) In fact, this book was initially intended to be a direct sequel to MFM, but while I was sitting on a beach rock in Monterey, I changed my mind, re-wrote about thirty pages, and turned it into a standalone story. (You know, as one does.) And if you've ever visited the great city of Seattle, where I lived for about a year, you'll see mentions of some familiar landmarks such as the Space Needle and delicious-smelling, prolific coffee shops. I love incorporating real places into my writing, especially when I have first-hand experience of what life is like there! 

This novel also marks the completion of a goal I set for myself when I was 13, that I would have four books published by the time I finished high school. I started with Stories of the Night, dove even deeper with Made for Mercy, joined an amazing team of authors for Into the Unknown, and now, just a few short (actually, long) days into The College Life, I'm announcing With Love from the Past. There were plenty of times when it looked like I wouldn't be able to meet this goal - looking at you, COVID-19, which tanked book sales- but here we are. Woo-hoo!!

A few special thank-yous are due, because I could never have written this book alone. First, I want to thank my parents, who picked me up off the floor when I passed out after surgery, fed me weeks worth of Jello on demand, and encouraged me to process my scrambled feelings by writing this book. Not to mention that they willingly listened to me ramble about how difficult writing is and helped me choose my final cover design! Second, I want to thank my physical therapist, who could tell when I was frustrated and hurting and always had a funny story prepared to keep me distracted. (If you're reading this, don't worry - I haven't forgotten about the "big red button." And there may be a surprise for you in this book - check the dedication!) Third, I want to thank my writing teacher, Mr. Justin Reynolds, and the students who joined me for his class. You were a great critique group, and your comments helped me turn this manuscript from a Word document to a published novel. Pickles and overly dramatic descriptions of brass doorknobs are prominently featured, and somehow they survived the editing process. Keep an eye out for that.

So, after all this build-up, are you ready for you next favorite suspense/young adult read? Follow me on Instagram, visit Ambassador International's website, and sign up for my email list (upper right corner of the main "Blog" page) for regular updates! Coming up soon will be a cover reveal, character sheets, mood boards, a Q&A, and a whole bunch more fun stuff.