Chilled to the Bones is about Dealer, a girl who finds a trunk hidden away in the attic of her house. It contains a map, a locket, and letters relating to the American Revolutionary War. It seems one of her distant relations played a part in the war, and may be linked to the missing treasure. Some of the letters are in code, and a key is provided at the back of the book, so it's very interactive! Dealer also finds a locket which seems to carry the spirit of the woman whose belongings are in the trunk.
She and her friends investigate their families involvement in the war, and also investigate why two of the town members want to gain the land of all the founding members of their town. It all relates to the Culper Spy ring.
Added to this, Dealer has to contend with her alcoholic father who is not coping with the death of her mother.
This is a great adventure story, which as well as being a mystery also has supernatural elements, caves, hidden buildings, and treasure, as well as the code, so there's a lot to keep young readers occupied. It's based around the real life Culper Spy ring, so has its roots in history and there's lots of historical detail and real life figures mentioned. It's a very engaging read, with a gutsy heroine.
1.This is a teen/YA mystery novel. Is this your main genre, or do you write for adults as well?
I've written in all genres, from now on it will be either YA or Speculative fiction.
2. Are you indie or traditionally published?
I'm traditionally published, however my publisher at Krullstone has gone the way of helping authors as a self publish publisher.
3.This book is about the American Revolutionary War. Is this something you’ve always been interested in?
I've always been interested in history in general. When I discovered that Agent 355 was a real woman, who was the one to take down Benedict Arnold, she was pregnant, than thrown in the HMS New Jersey to die (most American men and women died from being on the ships as opposed to on the battlefields). I just had to write about her. There were so many women as you can see from the back of the book that were hero's but never mentioned in your typical schools history books.
4. I understand the Culper Spy Ring is real. I presume the code you reference is also real? It’s very complex! How long did it take to research it?
Oh my gosh, the code was difficult to decipher. Yes, it's real and both sides had complex codes with different ways to decipher, a couple I mention in the book.
5. Have you written other books based on the Revolutionary War, or other historical events?
Yes, as I mentioned history does repeat, if we're not vigilant as citizens we are destined to repeat the same mistakes. I did write a fast paced thriller, The Black Madonna. Two years worth of research went into it. It's about the all out war by Pope Innocent to kill all Cathars for their beliefs. According to some historical documents the Cathars were the keepers (maybe still are) of The Arc of the Covenant.
6. What are you working on now?
I just finished Bottoms Up, a book about a young woman who lives in the Central Valley. She becomes an enologist and goes to work for someone who has stolen valuable wine (Jefferson's) and counterfeits it, greed, loads of money, the wealthy play a part, and of course, murder. Bottoms Up was picked up by a publishing house.
I just started research on a historical novel that I believe pertains to the climate of today.
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Or here in another interview