Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Up Next -- DISCONNECTED by Lisa Cronkhite

Milly doesn't want much -- get to school on time, score good grades so no one will get on her case, have a friend so she doesn't look like a total loser. Just stay under the radar and get through the day, that's all Milly wants. But every minute of every day is a battle for Milly, because Amelia is there-hiding her phone, losing her homework, whispering in her ear that she looks like a pig. Sometimes Milly wishes Amelia was dead. But since Amelia shares Milly's body, that's a dangerous thought. Amelia has always been there, but since their parents died in the car crash, she's been making Milly's life a living hell. Grandpa George doesn't help; he's okay to live with, but he's so remote, and old. It's at the point where Milly can't take it any more, but she's sure people would only lock her up if they knew-or at least that's what Amelia says. Sometimes Milly cuts herself, for the release. Her only other relief is to write in her journal, where she can let her feelings out. The problem is, she doesn't remember what she's written when she's done. She doesn't remember much about her past.

But Amelia knows.

Meet Lisa Cronkhite

Midwest Author Lisa M. Cronkhite’s love for writing began as a teen, when she filled her journal with the details of her torrid romance with her first boyfriend—now known as her husband of over two decades. She picked up writing again after her first bipolar episode and psychotic break, when her doctor recommended it as a coping skill. Pencil in hand, Lisa dove into crafting poetry.
Over the years, Lisa published poems in print and online magazines such as Poetry RepairsGrey Sparrow PressSacramento Poetry CenterPoetry Salzburg Review and many more. Her short short stories have appeared in magazines such as Suspense Magazine and the YA Fiction magazine Suddenly Lost in Words.She took a writing course at the Institute of Children’s Literature, earning six college credits and her certificate in July of 2009. Disconnected is her fourth novel (following Dreaming a RealityDemon Girl, and Deep in the Meadows).
Lisa is a mental health awareness advocate and writes to shed light on the struggles of such illnesses in the hope of promoting patience and understanding. She lives in a small suburb just outside of Chicago with her adoring husband and two beautiful children. When she is not writing or enjoying the presence of her loving family, she likes to hang out with Bruce, her Boxer/Shepherd mix, and Stormy, her gray tabby cat. She is working on her next novel, Purple Haze.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Our First Selection -- DEATH SPIRAL by Janie Chodosh

Death Spiral, the first release from The Poisoned Pencil, is an edgy tale introducing sixteen year old Faith Flores.

Faith Flores is a work in progress. She wants to go to college and study science, but she's not exactly college material. Thanks to her junkie mom, Faith has never known a stable life. But when her mom drops dead, Faith is the only one who cries. The cops say it was an overdose, but Faith doesn't buy it. Her search for the truth leads Faith from the drug houses and methadone clinics of North Philly to the million-dollar science labs of the pharmaceutical industry.

Meet Janie Chodosh

As an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, I majored in “all things interesting,” a list which included courses in biology, ecology, natural resources management, creative writing, and poetry. After college I moved to Yosemite National Park where I worked as a naturalist and educator and learned to rock climb, back country ski, and entertain myself with nothing more than a field guide, a trail, and a pair of binoculars. Later, as a graduate student in the University of Montana’s environmental studies program, the list of “all things interesting” expanded to include Spanish and environmental education. For my thesis, I traveled to a rural community on the coast of Oaxaca, Mexico to develop an environmental education program focusing on neo-tropical migratory songbirds (a fancy title for birds that breed in the north and winter south of the border). At age thirty, I moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico to work as the education director for the state Audubon Society and later as a teacher.
Although I didn’t publish my first book until the secret age of somewhere past young, I have always been a writer. (If you don’t believe me just check out the boxes and boxes of stories, diaries, poems, plays, and random thoughts I have written since I could first hold a pencil).  I am also a scientist wannabe, but since I realized I only liked to muck around in the field in cool places and would never actually be a scientist, I married one.
When not writing, I like to hang out with my family, rock climb, try to grow a garden in the arid southwest, bird watch, travel, and attempt to play Klezmer music on my violin.