Tag Archives: Super Spies

Two Awesome Middle Grade Books You must Read!

 

 

Hello everyone. I’m Lisa Orchard the author of the bestselling Super Spies series, and I’m here today to talk about a couple of books. One my son recommended to me, and one I discovered on my own. After reading both of them, I thought they’d be perfect for the Emblazon Blog. The title of the books are “Out of my Mind” and “The Thing about Jellyfish.”  The cover and blurb for “Out of my Mind” are below.

Eleven-year-old Melody has a photographic memory. Her head is like a video camera that is always recording. Always. And there’s no delete button. She’s the smartest kid in her whole school—but no one knows it. Most people—her teachers and doctors included—don’t think she’s capable of learning, and up until recently her school days consisted of listening to the same preschool-level alphabet lessons again and again and again. If only she could speak up, if only she could tell people what she thinks and knows . . . but she can’t, because Melody can’t talk. She can’t walk. She can’t write. Being stuck inside her head is making Melody go out of her mind—that is, until she discovers something that will allow her to speak for the first time ever. At last Melody has a voice . . . but not everyone around her is ready to hear it.From multiple Coretta Scott King Award winner Sharon M. Draper comes a story full of heartache and hope. Get ready to meet a girl whose voice you’ll never, ever forget.

My Thoughts:

I absolutely loved this story. It was heart wrenchingly honest and triumphant. I loved Melody. She has cerebral palsy and is literally trapped in her own mind. She can hardly communicate until she gets a Medi-Talker, that’s when everyone finds out how smart Melody is.

It’s a story that illustrates how dangerous labels can be. I loved Melody’s fighting spirit and this book has made me more aware of the fact, that just because someone can’t communicate the way you and I do, doesn’t mean they’re not intelligent. If you’re looking for a book that’ll teach your middle-grader tolerance and acceptance of differences. This book is for you.

It’s also a book that teaches perseverance. Melody didn’t give up. Even when there were tremendous obstacles in front of her, she stuck to her guns. I wish all kids had her fighting spirit.

I also loved Melody’s support system. Her parents were wonderful, and Mrs. V. was a true guiding light in this story. Wouldn’t it be nice if all kids had that kind of support? I’m sure the world would be a better place because of it.

I highly recommend this story, especially for reluctant readers, because of the message in it. It might help them persevere as they struggle with their reading. It might help them realize everyone has struggles to contend with. One person’s might be cerebral palsy, another’s might be reading, and another’s might be math.

 

The second book I’d like to recommend is “The thing about Jellyfish.” The cover and blurb are below, and it’s an amazing story about how a young girl deals with the loss of her best friend. I absolutely loved Suzy in this story. I loved her strength and her absolute conviction that a Jellyfish stung her best friend. She was not going to accept that things just happen.

Review of “The Thing about Jellyfish”

 

After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy must have been a rare jellyfish sting-things don’t just happen for no reason. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory–even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy’s achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe…and the potential for love and hope right next door.

My Thoughts:

This was an amazing read. I absolutely loved it. It tells the tale of a young girl trying to make sense of the loss of her friend who drowned. Franny, her friend, was a strong swimmer and Suzanne, the main character, believes Franny must have been stung by a jellyfish. That’s the only thing that makes sense to her. So, she decides to prove her theory. The author tells a tale of a young girl coping with the loss of her friend by trying to find a rational reason.

One thing I loved about this story is the science the author weaved into the tale. Her knowledge of the jellyfish species is vast, and she shares it with the reader in a way that keeps your interest. She also does this without losing sight of Suzanne’s story. I’d highly recommend this to teachers and librarians. There’s a lot of knowledge in this story the reader will pick up, and it may even spark an interest in science. Isn’t that what all good books do, spark interest in a subject?

Another reason I love this story is because it introduces the reader to the loss of a friend, and explains that sometimes there is no rational reason for a tragedy.  Things do “just happen.” This story is a great way to show your child sometimes we can’t find all the answers and we have to accept it.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my book recommendations. I love reading and writing for kids, so I’m always looking for a great story. If you have any recommendations you’d like to share, please leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

20111210_ABS_1296[1]Lisa Orchard grew up loving books. She was hooked on books by the fifth grade and even wrote a few of her own. She knew she wanted to be a writer even then. Her first published works are the “Super Spies Series.” These stories revolve around a group of friends who form their own detective squad and the cases they solve. “The Starlight Chronicles,” is the next series Lisa created with musical misfit, Lark Singer as her main character.

Lisa resides in Michigan with her husband, Steve, and two wonderful boys. Currently, she’s working on the next book in the Starlight Chronicles Series along with a few new ideas that may turn into stand-alone novels. When she’s not writing she enjoys spending time with her family, running, hiking, and reading.

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The Super Spies Series:
The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer 500x750TheSuperSpiesandtheHighSchoolBomber 500x750TheSuperSpiesandthePiedPiper 500x750

 

 

 

Why I Write for Tweens and Teens

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m Lisa Orchard the author of the bestselling “Super Spies Series” and I’m here today to share with you why I write for tweens and teens.

First of all, I love this age group. Some of my best memories in my life are from my own teen years. It’s a special time when everything is new and exciting. There are many “first times” during these years, first dances, first kisses, and first dates and I enjoy writing about these experiences.

I also like writing thrillers and mysteries. When I was a teen I loved a great mystery and I always had my nose in a book. So it wasn’t a big stretch when I started writing thrillers and combined strong friendships with solving crimes.

In my opinion, having a group of kids that are heroes is important for our young readers. It gives them someone to emulate. However, my characters don’t always make the right decisions. This is important too, because I want my readers to see the mistakes my characters make and learn the lessons right along with them. I also want my readers to see that we can survive our mistakes and not take them so hard. We learn more from our mistakes than we do our successes, wouldn’t you agree?

Since the teen years are filled with a lot of “firsts” it’s imperative that we give them positive role models. These are the years when they start testing their wings and make their own decisions. If we give them characters that have to suffer the consequences of their actions, they’ll realize that they too must deal with their own consequences and hopefully will make better choices.

The Super Spies series are stories with loveable characters that make mistakes, learn from them, and save the day. Below are the covers and blurbs along with the buy links. The stories are exciting and will keep your teen reading and away from social media and the TV. 🙂

Thanks for reading my post. I’d love to hear about your teen years! Were they filled with angst, or do you have funny memories that you wouldn’t trade for the world? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer 500x750In a small town in Michigan, fifteen-year-old Sarah Cole is stuck spending the summer at her Aunt and Uncle’s with her sister, Lacey. She’s not happy with the situation until she befriends a girl named Jackie. The three girls stumble upon the ruthless murder of a reclusive neighborhood woman and what’s worse? One of the officers investigating the crime believes the girls are responsible for her death.

Fearing that this officer will frame them for the murder, the girls organize their own detective squad. They become the Super Spies and start their own investigation. The Super Spies can’t understand why anyone would want to murder the “Cat Lady” until they start digging into her past and discover a horrible crime that happened thirty years ago. They uncover a connection between the two crimes and attempt to bring this information to the police, only to be reprimanded for meddling in the investigation. Not only are the girls upset by the admonition, but they also struggle with the fact that their exuberant investigating could provide a legal loophole allowing the killer to go free. Frustrated by this turn of events, the Super Spies realize it’s up to them to snare the Cat Lady killer.

Or die trying…

Links:

Amazon                   Barnes and Noble

 

TheSuperSpiesandtheHighSchoolBomber 500x750This book opens in a small town in Michigan where Sarah Cole and her sister Lacey are now living with their Aunt and Uncle. Still reeling from the fact her parents have disappeared, Sarah starts the school year with her new friend Jackie Jenkins. When Sarah learns the school has been bombed, she’s filled with dread. Uncle Walt is a teacher, and he was in the school when the bomb exploded. Taking matters into her own hands, Sarah decides to search for him. The rest of the Super Spies are right behind her. When a fireman chases them away from the school, Sarah becomes suspicious. She decides to investigate. The FBI arrives on the scene. Sarah realizes this bombing could have even bigger implications. Searching for the bombers, Sarah is introduced to the world of terrorism. She fears that the bombing and her parents’ disappearance are connected and terrorists are involved. To make matters worse, the bombers are determined to finish the job. Can the Super Spies find the bombers before it’s too late?

Links:

Amazon         Barnes and Noble

 

TheSuperSpiesandthePiedPiper 500x750Sarah Cole and her sister Lacey are at it once again when they learn their missing parents’ cell phone has been traced to Alden, Michigan. When the FBI declines to continue the investigation, Sarah takes matters into her own hands. She calls upon the Super Spies and they delve into the situation. Suddenly, the teens find themselves immersed in small town intrigue and mystery involving a menacing stranger, who Sarah dubs “The Stalker.” But when Sarah learns he’s connected to her parents’ disappearance, she’s determined to find out what that connection is. The Super Spies embark on a journey that leads them into a web of corporate corruption at its highest level that leaves innocent victims in its wake. Can they find the proof they need to stop the greedy corporation before it’s too late?

Links:

Amazon      Barnes and Noble

 

20111210_ABS_1296[1]Lisa Orchard grew up loving books. She was hooked on books by the fifth grade and even wrote a few of her own. She knew she wanted to be a writer even then. Her first published works are the “Super Spies Series.” These stories revolve around a group of friends who form their own detective squad and the cases they solve. “The Starlight Chronicles,” is the next series that Lisa created with musical misfit, Lark Singer as her main character.

Lisa resides in Michigan with her husband, Steve, and two wonderful boys. Currently, she’s working on the next book in the Starlight Chronicles Series along with a few new ideas that may turn into stand-alone novels. When she’s not writing she enjoys spending time with her family, running, hiking, and reading.

You can find her at these social media sites:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lisa-Orchard/328536613877060?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lisaorchard1?lang=en

Website:  http://www.lisaorchard.com/

The Inspiration that keeps Me Writing

 

20111210_ABS_1296[1]Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m Lisa Orchard the author of the best-selling Super Spies Mystery/Thriller series. I’m here today to discuss my inspiration for my writing. There have been many highlights for me during my writing career, but there’s one that really stands out.

Each year I conduct a writing workshop for a local girl’s group. It’s so nice to work with these young girls who are pursuing their dreams. They’re so eager to learn and it’s a rush to work with such inquiring young minds. Each experience is extremely rewarding and the main reason I keep writing. It’s good for the girls as well, to meet an author or an artist and realize that they’re normal people and not celebrities. It makes their dreams possible. I mean if this “normal” mom can write a book, why can’t I?

Their goals and desires become obtainable and this is what I want these young girls to realize, that they can do it with hard work and perseverance. Success doesn’t just happen to the lucky.

I want these girls to leave with that “I can do it” attitude when they finish my workshop and I feel like I accomplish it each time I do one. I want girls to grow up with the confidence that they can achieve their dreams if they “believe.” All the Emblazon Authors feel this way.

They want to inspire and motivate young people with their stories, so if you’re looking for some great middle grade reads, check out the Emblazon books. You’ll be glad you did! 😉

Thanks for reading my post. I’d love to hear what inspires you to keep writing. So leave a comment I’d love to hear from you. In addition, I’m pictured below  with the girls from the writing workshop I conducted a few months ago. I gave each one a copy of my book as a prize for participating. I must say these workshops are just plain fun! 🙂

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20111210_ABS_1296[1]Lisa Orchard grew up loving books. She was hooked on mysteries by the fifth grade and even wrote a few of her own. She knew she wanted to be a writer even then.  “The Super Spies and the Pied Piper” is the second book in the “Super Spies” series. Her first book was published in March of 2012 and it has received rave reviews.

After graduating from Central Michigan University with a Marketing Degree she spent many years in the insurance industry, pining to express her creative side.  The decision to stay home with her children gave her the opportunity to follow her dream and become a writer. She currently resides in Rockford Michigan with her husband, Steve, and two wonderful boys. Currently, she’s working on a Coming of Age Young Adult Novel. When she’s not writing she enjoys spending time with her family, running, hiking, and reading.

You can find Lisa Orchard here:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lisa-Orchard/328536613877060?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lisaorchard1

Website:  http://www.lisaorchard.com/

Writing for the Tween Market

20111210_ABS_1296[1]Hello Everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m Lisa Orchard, the bestselling author of the Super Spies series and I’m here to talk about writing for the Tween Market.

First of all, I love this age group! When I look back on my life, I recall my tween years as some of my happiest memories. In fact, my friends and I formed our own detective squad and tried to solve a mystery in our  small town. We never did, but let me tell you that was one of the best summers of my life. When I get together with those friends, we always bring up that summer and laugh about it.

When I look back on those years, I chuckle at my attitude. We thought we were invincible and we could accomplish anything! What a wonderful feeling to believe that there are no limitations or obstacles.

So, when I decided to write for this market I wanted to bring that same feeling to my readers. And being an avid mystery fan, it was a natural choice for me to write stories in that genre. However, I had to be careful because I wanted my characters to be good role models too. So, I made sure they didn’t condone or take part in any negative behavior like bullying or teasing. I had to do that and keep the story entertaining. No small task, that’s for sure!

While keeping my stories interesting, I also weave life lessons throughout the books; that way my readers can learn the lesson right along with the characters. Fiction can be a wonderful teacher, and sometimes it’s easier to learn a lesson from a book than it is to learn one from a parent. Sometimes, it’s easier on the parent too. 🙂

I’m always striving to teach with my stories and the other Emblazoner authors feel the same way. It’s so nice to work with a group of like-minded individuals. We all use different tools to tell our story. For example, some of us use humor, and some use fantasy or history. What’s nice about that is there’s something in our selection for every type of reader. So go ahead and check out our books, I’m sure you’ll find something for even the most reluctant reader!

Thanks for reading my post and if you’d like to share some of your thoughts on writing for the tweens in your life, feel free. We’d love to hear from you!