My life as a Middle School Mob Boss
(Middle grade contemporary humor)
Status: Work in progress (60k words)
Summary: Seventh grader Nelson Dinkleman accidently-on-purpose takes an offer he can’t refuse – or at least isn’t smart enough to. Play the role of middle school mafia boss and he can skate by without studying for the whole year. All he has to do is make sure Otto, the son of a Chicago mobster, passes the big test.
Otto’s not exactly a star student though. He once failed to pour water from a boot even though the directions were printed on the heel. But Otto’s stellar academic record isn’t the only thing Nelson is up against. Pretty-boy Floyd is working for the enemy and wants to see Otto fail the test almost as badly as Otto does himself.
Nelson’s only real help is Maya, the street savvy insider who’s as sharp with her fists as she is with her tongue. But Maya’s been telling lies and setting Nelson up as more of a stool pigeon than a mob boss. She’s working for the enemy too and digs up a secret from Nelson’s past. He’s on the lamb from people way worse than the mob – the federal government.
The fix is in and Nelson has to betray Otto by sinking his friend’s chances of passing the test. Otherwise Maya’s going to drop the dime on Nelson and he’ll end up spending a nickel to a quarter in the state pen.
The Boy and the Silver Tree
(Book one of the Silver Tree series)
Status: Currently on submission.
Summary: Oscar avoids oil-based shampoos, hungry giraffes, and most of all going to school on Arbor Day. Life’s tough for a seventh grader with leaves sprouting from his head. He does his best to keep his secret under wraps, but things get really strange really fast when Matty, a boy no one seems to know, shows up and claims Oscar is a wood troll.
An enchanted tree has been poisoned, and according to Matty only a wood troll can save it. If Oscar helps, then Matty promises to fix Oscar’s little hair problem. All Oscar has to do is convince a dryad queen to give him an apple to replant the tree. If he can’t though, the tree’s death will unleash Moedredd, a dark wizard bent on wiping out the noble family of the realm – which includes Matty’s entire bloodline.
Oscar figures getting a magic apple can’t be that hard. The boys just have to fend off bloodthirsty boar-creatures, outsmart dimwitted mountain men, and avoid becoming a snack for a tribe of carnivorous beetle people. And Matty neglected to mention Moedredd’s lieutenant, a fire witch with a penchant for hurtling flames as readily as she does threats. Fortunately the trees are willing to lend Oscar a hand (eh…branch). But Matty’s been telling lies and now Oscar doesn’t know who to trust anymore. To save the realm and get a hairdo that’s more blond than botanical, Oscar has to unravel the mystery of who he really is: a boy, a wood troll, or merely a pawn in Moedredd’s master plan.
Oscar and Matty interview the author (Seriously? Who’s crazy idea was this?)
The Wood Troll who Wasn’t
(Book two of the Silver Tree series)
Summary: Oscar and Matty are back, but this time they’ve got help…sort of. Bree says she’s a master thief, but so far the only thing they’ve seen her take is a nap. There’s also the mystery of why things always seem to fall apart around her – literally. Windows, walls, and even giant rock formations have a habit of ending up in a pile of rubble at her feet.
That’s the least of Oscar’s worries though. The Silvergress tree has been poisoned and Oscar (the only known wood troll left in the realm) looks like the prime suspect. On top of that, the dark wizard Moedredd, knows Oscar can save the tree and will stop at nothing to destroy him.
Together, the three friends face off against ax wielding giants, sand squids and a mysterious old hag with a nasty hobby of collecting other people’s destinies. Constantly pursued, their friendship begins to unravel as suspicions flare up over Bree’s true identity, and a secret from Oscar’s past comes to light. He might not really be a wood troll after all.
Fed up with half-truths and hidden agendas, Oscar pushes his friends away – and accidently pushes Matty into making a bargain that changes Oscar’s fate and seals Matty’s. To save his friend, Oscar will have to gamble his own life, the life of the silver tree and even the future of the realm – everything comes down to finding the solution to an ancient riddle.
What Oscar doesn’t’ realize is that some questions don’t come with answers.
The Death of the Silver Tree
(Book three of the Silver Tree series)
Status: Work in progress.
Summary: Oscar has everything he needs to save the Silvergress…but he’s starting to doubt if he should. There have been so many lies and so many things hidden from him. Even the evil plan of the dark wizard Moedredd turns out to be something other than what Oscar was led to believe.
Clues keep surfacing from his past and he questions who his own parents were – and who he really is. If he’s not a wood troll then what is he, and more importantly which world does he really belong to?
With the future of both worlds hanging in the balance, Oscar has to choose a path:
One path leads to the thing he wants more than anything else.
One path leads to fulfilling the promise he made to his friends.
But the most dangerous path of all is the one Oscar never expected Moedredd to offer him – the truth.