Come in, come in! In this room you’ll find the walls adorned with mismatched and makeshift bookshelves acquired through garage sales, barn auctions, and the occasional roadside trash pile. Some of the books in this growing collection are tattered and worn, while others shine fresh and spotless, but one thing they all have in common: each holds a story of battered heroes and broken souls rising above the darkness and coming into light and life. Of misfits finding fellowship. Of outcasts coming home.
This humble case here holds the stories I’ve written. Please enjoy!
Standalone Novels and Short Stories
The Forgotten Hero — Fantasy/Cozy Mystery
What happens when you mix a sea dragon, a scarred fisherman, and a stubborn merchant’s daughter? A quirky adventure for fans of Howl’s Moving Castle and Terry Pratchett! This title is currently out of print . . . for now. But check out other misadventures with Skeer and his whimsical world in Tales of a Forgotten Hero on the Havok e-zine!
Red Ribbon — Jeremy Nishida didn’t think he needed friends until a mysterious curse threatens to make him disappear—literally! YA /Contemporary
The Riftbreaker Chronicles — YA Fantasy/ Supernatural
Sebastian and Kurt went hunting for treasure but found ancient magic instead. Bound by friendship and a thousand-year grudge, they take on the world’s prejudice in search of a cure. Currently published as flash fiction through the Havok e-zine. But we have big ideas for these magic boys . . . Check out their story, Into the Abyss, in audio!
Check out my full collection of flash fiction through the Havok e-zine, including the sci-fi adventures of Kasper Kade (also in audio!)
Novels & Series
The Journey Taken — YA Fantasy/Sci-fi
An Epic Fantasy Adventure with Ancient Magic, Deadly Dangers, and an Encounter with Destiny ─ Wherein a Mage Princess Allies with Fugitive Mercenaries to Foil an Impostor King from Destroying the Known World. Currently out of print (but, Lord willing, not forever)
From hereon is a collection of beloved tales from other authors you might enjoy reading! (Note: books/films are listed in alphabetical order by title. Because that’s how my brain works)
A Silent Voice— Author: Yoshitoki Oima • Format: Manga/Film • Genre: YA/Contemporary
In elementary school, Shoya and his classmates bully the new kid, a deaf girl named Shoko. When she transfers out, Shoya shoulders all of the blame and is bullied in return. Years later, in high school, he finds Shoko again and tries to make friends, having now experienced the same kind of rejection and humiliation as she did. The story follows these two young people as they struggle to open up and ‘hear’ one another as well as others, battling themes of guilt, loneliness, self-loathing, and worth. With a touch of awkward-teenager humor and romance. I loved this story for the two main characters (and Nagatsuka), who are dealing with hurt and wondering if they’re truly worthy of the fellowship they so desperately need. It’s heartfelt and heartrending and a beautiful image of reconciliation and hope.
Alpha— Format: Film • Genre: prehistoric/survival
Thin and meek, Keda struggles to prove his worth as a man of the tribe, finally getting a chance during the Great Hunt, which will take them miles from home to the black bison that will feed their people through the coming winter. But during the hunt he is injured and left for dead. Regaining consciousness and finding himself alone, Keda faces the trials of a hostile land on his desperate journey home. With the companionship of a wild wolf that he saved, he proves to himself more than anyone else that he does have the will to survive and that true strength can be found when fighting for others. I was surprised to discover how much I enjoyed this story, even though it’s wrought with warts. I resonated with the desperation to survive and get back home. And the landscape is wild and beautiful.
Avatar: The Last Airbender— Format: TV series• Genre: PG-13 Asian-inspired fantasy
In a world where some people are born with the power to manipulate the elements, one person is born every generation who can control them all and shepherd balance between the divided nations and people, known as the Avatar. The latest Avatar rejected his role and ran away, disappearing for a century before being discovered frozen in ice by a pair of teen siblings. Thus begins their grand adventure to train the young Avatar in all the elements, outrun an emotionally constipated prince with an honor complex, his psych sister, and overthrow a power-hungry emperor before he uses a solar anomaly to dominate the world. Along the way they make new friends, combat injustice, learn lessons on the value of life, grace, mercy, peace, and how dangerous it is to aggravate a twelve-year-old earthbending champion. I loved this story of its sweeping grandeur, epic worldbuilding, and humor, but also for the family these kids forged as they traveled and endured so much together. For the themes of redemption, forgiveness, identity, and individual value each character discovered.
Barakamon— Author: Satsuki Yoshino • Format: Manga/Anime • Genre: slice of life, comedy
Young calligrapher Seishu Handa uproots his city life after assaulting the director of a contest he placed poorly in, moving to a rural island town to focus on his craft. While there, he interacts with the country folk who teach him more about life than he can teach them about calligraphy. What I love about this story, more than the antics these character get at and the hilarity of watching city slickers try to make it in the boonies, is the heart of humility and restoration. Handa ran away from what he did, and through his experiences with Naru and his neighbors learns about simple kindness and honesty. His art is renewed as he digs deeper into himself as a person, and he eventually reaches a place where he can return to the director to apologize and be restored. It’s fun, quirky, and heartfelt.
Demon Slayer— Author: Koyoharu Gotouge • Format: Manga/Anime • Genre: Historical fiction, YA horror, adventure
Taisho-era Japan (1912-1926) is haunted by vampire-like demons, but for Tanjiro, who lives in the remote mountains selling charcoal for a living, that is just rumors and superstition. Until he comes home one day to find his family slaughtered and his younger sister turned into a demon. Desperate to turn her back into a human, Tanjiro joins a corps of warriors known as Demon Slayers in order to find a cure and prevent what happened to him from happening to anyone else. Behind the gripping action, serpentine plot twists, and ridiculous attack names, this is a story about family, about a brother who wants to protect his sister, who sees her and believes she can be saved despite what the world says.
The Dragon Keep Chronicles— Author: C. M. Banschbach • Format: Novel • Genre: YA/NA Epic fantasy
Only one thing stands between the peace of Alsaya’s Clans and the dark powers of evil Druids, and that’s the Mountain Baron. Once cut off from his home to eek a living among outcasts, the Baron thunders into the brewing war to rescue his brother, who has been kidnapped by the Druids, and sets in motion a conflict not only between men, but ancient powers long forgotten. This story is chock full of snarky banter, salty cinnamon rolls, and the unshakable bonds of brotherhood that no scheme of man or magic can destroy. I loved it for these things, as well as the struggle of our beloved Baron between love and betrayal, the themes of forgiveness and restoration, and that the truth will always come to light.
For Whom the Sun Sings— Author: W.A. Faulkerson • Format: Novel • Genre: YA dystopia
The world fell apart in chaos a hundred years ago and what people are left live in a small mountain village. Quiet, structured, and blind. But Andrius was born with sight, and when a stranger wanders into their peaceful haven, it puts into question everything he thought he understood of the world. In pursuit of the truth, young Andrius is challenged by the Prophet and Regents, who lead the village with shrewd severity. What I loved about this story, apart from its unique setting and absolutely brilliant writing, was also what broke my heart in it. The purity of Andrius’s curiosity and desire to help his people is contrasted by the corruption and hubris of those in power who want to control them, with themes of perseverance and hope in seemingly hopeless situations. And that ending. Y’all, that ending unfolds with so much power.
From Up on Poppy Hill— Format: Film • Genre: YA historical fiction/slice-of-life/romance
While their mother is studying abroad, high schooler Umi Matsuzaki takes care of her younger siblings and grandmother. One day she meets Shun Kazama, a journalist for the school paper, and even though Umi is a mature, practical minded girl and Shun a loud and passionate young man, they soon become friends as they work together to save the school’s club building from being demolished for redevelopment. This cozy story warmed my heart with its quiet grace and youthful charm (prevalent in many Ghibli films by Miyazaki), as well as the journey the characters went into their respective family’s story, revealing a history of deep and abiding friendship between their deceased fathers. It carries bittersweet themes of treasuring the past, friendship, and growing up.
List in progress . . .