I'm a writer, college educator, psychologist, and saxophonist. I write picture books and middle-grade novels. My characters are based on my children and quirky people I meet in my travels.
My writing has appeared in Highlights Magazine, Goldfinch, and regional literary magazines, as well as professional newsletters. Pickletown Publishing is my own title under which I publish my stories.
I'm a PAL member of SCBWI.
Annie’s dad snores and it’s driving her crazy! And his daytime napping interferes with their playtime. But when he’s diagnosed with sleep apnea, Annie must find a way to overcome her worry about the disorder and the CPAP equipment he uses to treat the problem.
Praise from professionals:
Sleep apnea is a family disease. The symptoms interfere with interpersonal relations at all levels—spouse, children, and work. Treatment helps the whole family. Since CPAP is the treatment of choice for most patients who are symptomatic, family acceptance of therapy is important for holistic health and relationships. My Daddy Has Sleep Apnea gives children an understanding about the positive impact that occurs with CPAP use and how all of the family benefits. It is always good to have the real Daddy 'back'.
B. Gail Demko, DMD (Dr. Demko is past President of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and a specialist in oral appliance therapy for the management of sleep apnea.)
This is an important and fun book for every family that has children and a parent who has sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can have severe impacts on family life and relationships. Not only is the person with apnea tired and at risk for health problems, but the spouse and children also suffer poor sleep because of snoring (often a symptom of sleep apnea). A tired parent may not be giving attention to the spouse or children, and a child can be upset and bewildered. Although there are books addressed to the needs of adults, this book addresses the needs of the child. Dr. Sheila Brodhead, informed by her personal experience as well as her clinical work, has created a charming picture book for children that models how a parent can reassure a child about the nature of sleep apnea and the treatment. Treatment can restore the patient to health, and thus restore the normal life of the family, and they can once again have fun together.
Jerry Halberstadt, co-author of "Sleep Apnea---The Phantom of the Night."
All eleven-year-old Jenkins wants is a new neighbor who loves baseball. But instead he gets a geeky kid named Clyde who digs holes, is obsessed with mushrooms and fungus, and spouts American history like a college professor. Even worse, Clyde shows up in Jenkins’ class and becomes his science fair project partner. Clyde insists on bad rye bread as the cause of the Salem witch hysteria as their topic. Jenkins reluctantly goes along, but is suspicious when Clyde avoids using a computer and calls a pen a “quill.” During a field trip to Salem where they’ll display their project, Clyde mysteriously disappears from a museum basement. While frantically searching for him, Jenkins discovers a wooden box that may hold evidence to support their science project theory. Clyde is never found, but when Jenkins visits an old cemetery and stumbles upon an ancient gravestone, he finally realizes who Clyde is and where he came from.
When eleven-year-old Jenkins Towne travels to a Massachusetts museum to present his school science project, he has no idea that his missing classmate Clyde, who turns out to be a 17th century Puritan, will whisk him back to 1692 and beg him to help end the witch trials. An evil sheriff and a devil-obsessed minister stand in their way, but when Jenkins discovers that his sister, accidently sucked back in time, has been accused of witchcraft, Jenkins and Clyde must race to come up with a plan to save her and 150 others from the noose on Gallows Hill.
Finished but not yet published
Jodi is an eleven-year-old girl who has a loving, yet stressful relationship with her younger, autistic brother. She loves him, but his disability complicates her life. Everything centers around Tyler, even a move to New Jersey so he can attend a special school. Jodi wishes that once in a while things would be about her. She’s conflicted when she learns that her dad wants custody of her, but not her brother. To make matters worse, at her new school she’s the target of a bully who calls her “Undies.” When she’s trapped with this troubled boy in the Museum of Natural History elevator during a field trip, she discovers they have something important in common. Jodi learns to stand up for herself and maybe, just maybe, has found a new friend.
My inspiration for Jodi is my daughter, whose brother has autism, and my experience as a psychologist working with families of children with disabilities. The prevalence of autism is staggering, and the siblings of these children are underserved in many ways. My hope is that this story will help them feel less alone.
Finished but not yet published.
Windows fly open. A disembodied spirit comes to play and the ghostly presence repeatedly utters “the play’s the thing.” It’s enough to scare the pants off of any child, but eleven-year-old Susan sets aside her fear and vows to banish the spirit who is haunting her grandmother’s Victorian home and the adjacent theater.
Through determined detective work, Susan and her new friend Gabe discover that the abandoned theater was the site of a teenage girl’s tragic death decades earlier. They realize they must put on the play that was running there when the girl was killed, but must first convince the grandmother to let them restore the building. Susan comes up with a plan that will reveal the killer during that play. But she must hurry before a local developer seizes the property and razes the building. If time runs out and the theater is destroyed, the killer will not be found and the ghost’s troubled spirit will never rest in peace.
Since middle-graders love mysteries, they’ll identify with Susan and her friend Gabe as they work together to solve the mystery of The Haunting of Avondale Theater. Middle graders who enjoy books like Sheila Turnage’s The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, will enjoy this tale.
On the way to being completed...
Eleven-year-old Emily Winston has a dream-- to play a flute solo with the school band, if she can ever get out of the house. Emily has separation anxiety. Big time. When her mom can no longer stay at home to home-school her, Emily must return to the place she fears. When she does, she has some rough times, but discovers she has more inner strength than she ever expected, and might even be able to play that flute solo.