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I hope everyone is excited for summer – it’s nearly here!

Before Spring has sprung, I’ll be out at my first Elementary School event, talking to 2nd and 3rd graders about what it took to write my two books – and how they can write and sell their very own books. It will be quite a thrill to help foster the creative spirit in these kids.

In honor of this first (of hopefully many more) speaking engagements, Wheeler Street Press – my publisher! – will be reducing the price of the Kindle versions of Dashiell Stone: Best Friends … Forever? and Will Peck SAVES THE WORLD! on Amazon for a full week!

Starting Monday, May 22nd, you can purchase the digital books at a super discount:

Dashiell Stone (normally $2.99) will be offered for only $1.99 – the illustrations by Matthew Wong look really awesome on the Kindle Reader or an iPad.

Will Peck (normally $6.99) will only cost ya $3.99 – about the same price as a monthly issue of a Guardians of the Galaxy or Teen Titans comic book.

If you do take advantage of this special deal, once you’ve read one of my books I would love to hear what you thought. And tell me what you think of this blog – what you like, and what you’d like to see me do here with all of this awesome aquamarine-colored space. You can leave a Comment down below, or Write to me at reevearmstrong@wheelerstreetpress.com.

Until next time … have a Fantastic Summer!!

Swimming Pool

 

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Here’s a peek at the very First Chapter from my middle-grade adventure, available later this month from Wheeler Street Press. The cover is by renowned comic book artist Mike DeCarlo. I hope you enjoy it and want to read more …

 

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1

The worst thing about getting hit in the face is that it hurts.

A lot.

Which is why when I found myself getting pummelled in the gym after sixth period by a guy everyone calls Thor, I couldn’t believe I had actually agreed to the beating. I was no superhero, so what on Earth did I think I was doing letting the biggest freshman at Bedford High use my body as a punching bag?

But let me back up a little here. My name is Will Peck, and I’m fourteen years old. I’m what people like to label a nerd. I prefer the term sentient-being-of-high-intellectual-acuity-with-low-social-popularity, but I’ll be the first to admit that geek, spaz, and nerd roll off the tongue a lot easier. Sports have never loved me, so I made a deal with all the round athletic balls of the world a long time ago that I wouldn’t bother them if they didn’t bother me. Trust me, my life would be much simpler if I was good at any kind of physical activity. Even being able to jog, or play badminton without pulling a major muscle, would place me in higher esteem with everyone in my life.

Especially my dad.

I love my dad, he’s a great guy. But he’s, well, he’s too great a guy. I mean, he’s really good-looking and has muscles on top of muscles. That and he’s got perfect teeth, and this really awesome voice that’s all deep and dramatic, like those voiceover guys in the movie trailers (“In a world!”)—you know the ones. Everyone who meets him instantly likes him and wants him to be their best friend.

I am so not like that. Not only do I like nerdy things, like computer programming, starting the astronomy club, math club, and virtual horticulture club, but I physically fit the profile. My hair is long and shaggy, and I weigh about ninety pounds completely drenched. Which I have been, by the neighborhood kids. Many times.

But I try to stay positive, keep my spirits high and realize that I’ve got my dad’s genes, so maybe someday I’ll shed this scrawny body and turn into a cool guy.

Doubtful, though. Personally, I’m big on the three “L”s: the library, the lab, and the laptop. I’m a voracious reader, mostly of stories that revolve around science, nature, and the discovery of our vast universe. Yes, I’m the one kid in high school who actually reads National Geographic from cover to cover. The photos are amazing, and the maps inside help me imagine traveling to some faraway place some day. Maybe a place where I won’t feel like such an out-of-place freak.

Overall, I guess I’m more like my mom, with her love of science and that thoughtful, quiet way about her. She’s kind of pretty, in a buttoned-down, librarian-y sort of way. I mean, I don’t really think about whether my mom looks hot or not. But my dad is always going on about how lucky he is to have met her, how gorgeous she is, and on and on. So if he thinks she’s beautiful, and he’s the perfect guy, how can it not be true?

Except, I’ve recently learned that not everything that comes out of my dad’s mouth is true. They aren’t lies, exactly. Just truths with the crusts cut off. Not the whole story, if you know what I mean.

It sucked pretty hard, finding out that my dad wasn’t exactly who I thought he was. Who I believed he was. I knew everyone had secrets, including my mom and dad. Some of those secrets—like how and when I was conceived, or the frequency of their daily trips to the bathroom—are okay staying secrets. But this was a big one. I mean, HUGE. When I found out, it was like I was the last one to know. And it hurt. A lot.

Which brings me back to the pummelling I received by the beast called Thor. It started innocently enough. But it ended with me getting a black eye. And with my parents kidnapped by international terrorists. Yeah. It was an interesting few days.

And that was just the beginning.

END OF CHAPTER ONE

 

These are the two “Variant” Covers that can also be purchased (same great book inside, but with different art on the outside) — exclusively from WSP. The 1st one is drawn by David Castro and colored by Ryan Donoghue. The 2nd one is drawn and colored by Paul Loudon. I love all 3 of the covers, it’s really hard to pick a favorite!

 

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Fun Books I Read in 2016

So, one thing you should know about me is that I have 3 boys, and they keep me super busy! When I’m not hanging out with them, I’m reading books (or writing my own!). This year I wanted to read a bunch, but didn’t get to as many as I would have liked to.

What’s great about my boys is that they love when I read books TO them – this way we all get a chance to enjoy a lot of new books, as well as some classic books (including some of the great books I read when I was their age).

Here are just a few of the books I read to them in 2016:

BEEZUS AND RAMONA and RAMONA THE PEST by Beverly Cleary – Ms. Cleary turned 100 years old (!) back in April and she still remains one of the greatest writer of books for kids out there. These are two books I remember fondly from when I was about 8 or 9. Nice to say, they’re still hilarious and a lot of fun to read. The boys loved them, too.

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON by Cressida Cowell – We all saw the movie when it came out, but didn’t know there was an entire series (13 books and counting!) of books that were also drawn by the author. Hiccup and Toothless’ very first adventure was a total treat, full of hair-raising adventures and lots and lots of dragons.

DON’T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS by Mo Willems (he never disappoints!), AGATHA by Anna Pignataro, THE GRUFFALO by Julia Donaldson with pictures by Axel Scheffler, and HOW ROCKET LEARNED TO READ by Tad Hills were a few of the standout Picture Books that the boys and I enjoyed this year.

Books We Plan to Read in 2017:

2 books we’re already halfway through and plan to finish soon:

THE BOY WHO LOST HIS FACE by Louis Sachar (one of my fave authors of all time)

THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ by L. Frank Baum – follow the yellow brick road!

I can’t wait to read more books on my own, and with my boys. If you’re interested in seeing some of the books I’ve read over the years, and the ones I’m currently reading, please check out my Goodreads page, as well as my newest book site, LibraryThing. If you’re a member of either one of them, definitely send me a Friend Request. I’d love to see what you’re reading, as well!

 

It’s mid-December, and I have amazing news to share – my first two books will be published by Wheeler Street Press in January!

To have one book in print and available on Amazon is terrific, but to have TWO books coming out at the beginning of a new year is Tremendous!

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some stories about the creation and writing process of Dashiell Stone: Best Friends … Forever? and Will Peck SAVES THE WORLD!  I hope you’ll enjoy reading about their journey from the inside of my head to the inside of their very own books.

For now, here’s a little peek at the covers:

 

 

 

Penelope

I just wanted to share a little something I wrote, playing with alliteration in a silly way.  Hoping to fill this blog with writings like this from time to time.  I call it PENELOPE, and I hope it brings a smile to your cheeks.

 

PENELOPE WAS PRETTY.  And perfect.  Peppy, proper, puzzling (but in a good way), pleasant, and all the really powerfully positive “p” words.  Even a bit precocious, at times.  But Hadley Fox didn’t know what precocious meant, not exactly, and even if he did have an understanding of the word and it’s specific relation to this particular princess, it wouldn’t have changed his opinion of his pretty Penelope.  Not one little bit.

Unfortunately, Penelope had very contrary feelings towards Hadley and all the words she used when referring to him began with the letter “h.”  Horrible Hadley was her favorite term of non-affection, the horrible sometimes substituted with hideous, half-pint, homely, and even haggard, which she thought was a particularly clever substitution, if you took into account the daily Viking comic strip on which the term was based.  And she did, most harshly.

So it was with great surprise to both of them, actually, when Hadley reached over Alissa MacGillicuddy at eleven o’ five a.m. on a bright and sunny Thursday morning, plum dab in the middle of Mrs. Kilpatrick’s “Art Time” and planted a juicy, wet kiss on the smacker of little Miss P.  The greater surprise, for both of them once again, came when Penelope did not resist the gesture and slap hardheaded Hadley’s face, but actually returned the kiss, indulging in her first true lip-to-lip lock, the second-grade equivalent of “making out,” albeit in front of an entire class of pre-pubescent pranksters, prudes and one Prozac pill-popping professor.

The real question remains, and tragically will never be answered, as to how long the kiss would have lasted had Hadley not fainted midway through a possibly endless kiss, falling into blissful unconsciousness, breaking the lip embrace and forever marring the experience with a decidedly terrible, troublesome and terrifically tarnished taste.

Hello world!

Reeve Armstrong here, with my first post on this new blog.

If you’ve clicked the “About Reeve & His Site” tab already, then you know a few things about me. Beyond that, I really enjoy reading and writing about the world’s younger population. Some of my favorite books are: Holes by Louis Sachar, The Giver by Lois Lowry, Welcome to the Ark by Stephanie S. Tolan, the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Jeff Kinney‘s Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, and anything by Kate DiCamillo, Beverly Cleary, John Steinbeck, Roald Dahl and Dr. Seuss.

You can find most of the books I’ve read at Goodreads. And I’m always looking for recommendations, so e-mail me if there’s a book you’re dying to share.

Personally, I hope to eventually write a few books you guys will be dying to read. I’m currently working on the second book in a series of Easy Reader books, and well into the first draft of a YA novel. This blog is both motivation for me to continue writing, and also a place to hopefully interact with potential fans once the books are published (fingers crossed).

So, check back from time to time. I’ll be posting reviews of books I like, as well as sharing some of my stories and a lot of my creative thoughts.

– Reeve