Previous Events

Homeschool Expo

6316 N Tulsa Ave., OKC, OK
08/05/2023 8:30 am08/05/2023 3:00 pm
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I will represent Family-Friendly Fiction Writers at a the Homeschool Expo in Oklahoma Aug. 5, 2023. It is hosted by Northwest Bible Homeschool co-op. It will be at Northwest Bible Church, 6316 N Tulsa Ave., OKC, OK 73112. For more info, see

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Author Talks

Arlington Library Northeast
07/22/2023 11:00 am07/22/2023 1:30 pm
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Get the story behind the stories! In this series of short talks, eight local authors will share about their writing journey and the best tips they learned along the way. A meet and greet with book signing and selling will follow. Refreshments will be provided. I will discuss: Plotting Your Plot: Is there a best way to plot your story? – How do you plot with your genre’s promise in mind and live up to that promise?

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Family-Friendly Fiction Writers to Attend TX Great Homeschool Convention

Round Rock, TX - Kalahari Resorts & Conventions - 3001 Kalahari Blvd., Round Rock, TX 76885
07/06/2023 12:30 pm07/08/2023 12:00 am
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A Full “Individual” or “Family” homeschool conference registration for #GHC2023 in Texas includes access to info-packed workshops, admission to browse & shop the HUGE homeschooling curriculum Exhibit Hall, exclusive Hotel discounts, Teen Track and other Tracks and Comedy Night with Bob Smiley. All in all, up to three (3) days of Equipping, Encouragement and FUN!

Alternatively, for those that may be pressed for time and simply want to get some Great Deals and New Ideas in the Exhibit Hall, a “Shopping Only” registration is available – with no access to Speakers, Workshops, Workshop recordings, or Special Events.

And, you'll have the opportunity to meet Family-Friendly Fiction Writers in person! Purchase humorous, adventurous, and historical books. Get books signed by the authors, take pics with them, ask questions, and hold 3,000-year-old artifacts in your hand!

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Underground Scouts – Book Launch

Babylon Coffee, 9986 Grapevine Hwy, Hurst
02/25/2023 6:00 pm02/25/2023 7:30 pm

Join us Saturday, February 25, at 6:00pm-7:30pm to hear about Marie Sontag's latest release, "Underground Scouts - A WWII Novel." This historical fiction book is based on the true story of the Polish Scouts working alongside the Underground Resistance to push the Germans out of Warsaw.

Prizes, freebies, and more are part of the event, including a $5 gift card for Babylon Coffee to the first ten attendees. Hope to see you there!

If for some reason you can't make it, we will also hold another launch the following Saturday, March 4, at the European Deli in Southlake, 5pm-6:30pm. This Polish restaurant will be the perfect venue for the revelation of "Underground Scouts!"

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Graham Library Young County Book Festival – Sat. Dec. 10, 2022

Graham Library, 910 Cherry St., Graham, TX
12/10/2022 10:00 am12/10/2022 1:00 pm
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The inaugural Young County Book Festival will be held next Saturday at the Library of Graham with over 20 national, regional and local authors who will discuss, sell and sign their books.

The festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10 at the library at 910 Cherry St. The event was started due to authors reaching out to the library to see if they hosted any type of similar event at the facility, according to Library of Graham Director and author Kelly LaFarge who also reached out to bring authors to the event.

“I’m a member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), that’s a society of children’s authors and illustrators, and there’s a northeast chapter. So I sent out a call out to them and then (it spread via) word of mouth between some local authors,” she said. “(...) So I have close to 25 authors that are going to come.”

The library director said they are going to spread the authors out in the library and try to make the event more lively for those visiting each author.

“I’m going to turn on the player baby grand piano and everybody can just walk around and talk to the authors (and) ask them how they got published,” she said. “Some are self published, they’ve done their own publishing, paid for it and they’re selling their books. Then some have done traditional publishing like, one of my gals (attending) is (published through) Simon & Schuster. So she’s gone through the agent, through the vetting process of one of the New York publishers, you know, the tough way to do it.”

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Family Friendly Fiction Writers at Keller High School Craft Show Dec. 3-4

Keller High School, 601 N. Pate Orr Road NorthKeller, TX, 76248
12/03/2022 9:00 am12/04/2022 4:00 pm
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Family Friendly Fiction Writers at

Keller High School
601 N. Pate Orr Road NorthKeller, TX, 76248

Saturday - 12/3/2022 -- 9am to 5pm
Sunday - 12/4/2022 -- 11am to 4pm

Shopping - Over 250 vendors, including the Family Friendly Fiction Writers

Christmas decorations and holiday crafts

Specialty food items: hot sauces, jams, chocolate, candies, and doggies treats

Bath and body items: luxury soaps, lotions and aromatherapy

Ladies’ and children’s clothing

Jewelry and accessories

Special Activities and Food

Huge Silent Auction

Homemade Bake Sale (made by our Indianette Families)

Cafeteria open for snacks

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Watauga Library Book Festival – Saturday, Nov. 5

Watauga Pubic Library, 7109 Whitley Rd, Watauga, TX 76148
11/05/2022 12:00 pm11/05/2022 5:00 pm
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Interested in writing? Meet local DFW authors Saturday, Nov. 5, from noon to 5pm. Attend workshops, ask questions, view new children, middle grade and young about fiction and non-fiction books, meet authors, and get autographs! Marie Sontag, Sandra F. Rhoads, and Kelli McKinney will present a workshop, "Crafting a Stand-Out Scene" from 2:30-3:30pm.

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Faith & Fellowship Festival for Book Lovers and Authors, Nov. 2-4, at 5-6pm (CT)

Online - Free, but Must Register
11/02/2022 5:00 pm11/04/2022 7:10 pm
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5-7:10 pm (CT) Nov. 2-4, Online
Angel Book Award Winners announced Friday, Nov. 4, at 7:10 pm (CT)

I received a big surprise at the end of this festival. My YA historical fiction book, "Yosemite Trail Discovered, placed 1st in the YA awards. I was so surprised and excited! See the images below.

About the Faith & Fellowship Festival for Book Lovers and Authors

This is an interactive book festival where authors meet new readers and readers meet their favorite or soon-to-be-favorite authors while learning about the inspiration behind their books. Book lovers won't want to miss this opportunity for intimate chats with authors. This event also provides learning opportunities for new or aspiring writers to glean from those who have and are paving the way! Register, attend, and be prepared to have lots of literary fun!
Psst . . . . This registration link is for attendees only! If you're an author interested in being on the roster for one of the evenings, visit for more information.
NOTE: You only have to register once, regardless of the night(s) you will attend. Registering separately for each night is not necessary.

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Mid-Cities Teen Book Fest – Saturday, Oct. 15

NRH Library
10/15/2022 10:00 am10/15/2022 5:00 pm
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The Mid-Cities Teen Book Fest is a fun-filled day for teens from around the North Texas area to meet and greet nationally recognized authors, participate in writing activities, and learn more about upcoming YA book releases!

What You Can Expect:
* Chance to hear authors from a variety of backgrounds talk about their experiences
* Panel discussions and an opportunity to ask your favorite YA authors questions
* Learn the latest news about Young Adult books
* Free lunch for teens*
* Fun and unique workshops
* Book sales & author signings
Why Should I Bring My Students? 

At the MCTBF, teens have the opportunity to meet YA authors they usually would not have the chance to meet, and it's a great way to build connections with other teens. In addition, authors will speak about their books and various topics, increasing attendees' cultural awareness.
If you have any questions about bringing a group to the in-person event, please reach out to Monica through email or call 817-427-6818.
*Lunch is provided by In-N-Out Burgers for the first 200 teen attendees. 

I will be part of a panel at 11:20am discussing “Facing Adversity,” both in the lives of our fictional characters as well as in real life. I will also give a writing workshop at 3pm, have books available for purchase, and will be there for book signing near the end of the day. Hope to see you there!

For more info, go to

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Author Visit at Worthington Christian School

Columbus, OH
05/16/2022 12:00 am05/16/2022 12:00 am

Dr. Sontag will encourage students at Worthington Christian School to chase their dreams.

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Author Visit with Washington Students – Becoming a Writer

Brier Terrace Middle School, Washington
05/06/2022 12:00 am05/06/2022 12:00 am

Students at Brier Terrace MS in Washington asked me to address the topic "Thinking of Becoming a Writer/Author?" for their career day. I'm looking forward to hearing their questions and having great discussions about writing. This online visit was arranged by the Nepris.

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Online Talk with Oregonian 6th Graders

Online - Nepris
04/14/2022 12:15 pm04/14/2022 12:00 am
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6th graders at Tumwata Middle School , OR are studying the power of stories in telling history, and have asked me to answer questions they have about writing historical fiction. I'll meet with them online April 14 at 12:15pm Pacific Time. I'm looking forward to meeting these wonderful students! Below is a video clip from a class I spoke with through the Nepris program in Nov., '21.

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Podcast with Chautona Havig at Because Fiction
04/11/2022 12:00 am04/11/2022 1:00 pm
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As soon as we got back from our whirlwind CA book launch, I had an interview with Chautona Havig from Because Fiction about the release of "Yosemite Trail Discovered." You can view the podcast at the link below.

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Book Launch for “Yosemite Trail Discovered”

Mariposa Historical Museum
03/19/2022 2:00 pm03/19/2022 3:00 pm
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Author Marie Sontag will launch the release of her latest novel, "Yosemite Trail Discovered," part two of the Whitcomb Discoveries series, at the Mariposa Historical Museum March 19 at 2pm. Sharing images of locations in the California gold country mentioned in the book, Dr. Sontag will illustrate how events between 1846-1851 culminated in the clash of cultures between the Native Americans and the gold-rush miners. As seen through the eyes of Daniel Whitcomb, a sixteen-year-old fictional character, "Yosemite Trail Discovered" unfolds the story of how tensions between historical figures such as Jim Savage, Sheriff James Burney, Chief Bautista, Chief Juárez, and others resulted in the Mariposa Battalion's discovery of Yosemite Valley as they rode in to rout the Ahwahneechee from their land.

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Road Trip in March ’22!

California - Orange County to the Bay Area, then on to Medford, OR
03/03/2022 12:00 am03/26/2022 12:00 am
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I will present a session at the California Council for the Social Studies March 6 at the Anaheim Convention Center. After the conference I will give author visits to schools from southern CA to Medford Oregon. I will speak to students on how to chase their dreams. My latest YA historical novel comes out in March - "Yosemite Trail Discovered," my 6th novel. I'll sign it and other titles of my books for students throughout the tour. As always, I'll share my authenticated, ancient artifacts of a Mesopotamian bronze dagger, an Egyptian alabaster jar, and a Phoenician silver coin.

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TX Library Association

04/22/2021 10:00 am04/24/2021 4:30 pm
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If you know librarians in Texas, invite them to stop by the SCBWI (virtual) booth during the online Texas Library Association Conference, 2021. I'll be presenting my middle-grade and young adult historical fiction books on Friday at 11:30am and 3:15 pm, and Saturday at 12:45pm. I look forward to seeing some of your friends there!

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ACFW DFW Annual Mini-Conference, Aug. 8, 2020, 9am-3pm

08/08/2020 9:00 am08/08/2020 3:00 pm
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Join ACFW DFW for our annual mini-conference on Saturday via Zoom on August 8, 9am to 3pm CDT, for "Love this Writing Life." Interact with four speakers as they present on five different topics. We'll also have breakout rooms during lunch where you can interact with like-minded writers and some of our speakers. "Door" prizes as well! Register at:

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Garland Literacy for Life Saturday, September 21

Curtis Culwell Center, 4999 Naaman Forest Blvd., Garland, TX 75040
09/21/2019 11:00 am09/21/2019 3:00 pm
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I'll be joining Garland ISD and the cities of Garland, Rowlett, and Sachse, along with many other authors to help host a free community-wide event with activities to inspire and transform through the power of literacy.

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Barnes & Noble Meet the Authors

861 NE Mall Blvd., Hurst, TX
08/17/2019 1:00 pm08/17/2019 5:00 pm
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Saturday, August 17 - Barnes & Noble Event - Teachers and school librarians! Come meet local authors at the Hurst Barnes & Noble, 861 NE Mall Blvd., Hurst, TX. Books, games, music, movies, and more are 25% off! I will be there to sign The Bronze Dagger, The Alabaster Jar, The Silver Coin, and Rising Hope. Come join me!

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Shallow vs. Deep POV – ACFW Workshop Speaker

Georgetown, TX
08/11/2018 10:00 am08/11/2018 12:00 pm
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What's the difference between a shallow and a deep point of view for fictional characters? This workshop defines and explores these differences by presenting three enemies that hinder, and four tips that can help deepen a character’s POV. The workshop includes a Powerpoint to illustrate the concepts presented and to stimulate discussion. Handouts and prompts will also be provided, allowing writers time to process and practice the items discussed. Length: approximately 60 minutes

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Bremond Polish Festival

Bremond, TX
06/22/2018 12:00 am06/23/2018 12:00 am
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Polish Festival - Author signing for Rising Hope

Author Visit, Union Middle School, 5/17/18

San Jose, CA
05/17/2018 9:30 am05/17/2018 3:00 pm

I enjoyed visiting with students at Union Middle School today. They were so attentive and sent me thankyou letters after the event. Here's an example of one of the letters:

"Dear Dr. Sontag,
Thank you for coming to UMS and sharing your presentation. It was inspiring and I loved your comparison between your dream and a hard-boiled egg. Also, your new series, Warsaw Trilogy, seems very interesting. Halina's story was very touching.

Shayna R.

Looking forward to visiting you again in the future, UMS!

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School Author Visit – Dartmouth Middle School

Dartmouth Middle School, San Jose, CA
05/15/2018 10:30 am05/15/2018 3:00 pm

I enjoyed visiting with the students at Dartmouth Middle School today. They had great questions and enthusiasm about the books they've read from my Ancient Elements series. I look forward to visiting DMS again in the future!

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Dallas Book Festival

Dallas Public Library, (214) 670-1400 1515 Young Street Dallas, TX 75201
04/07/2018 1:45 pm04/07/2018 5:00 pm
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The 2018 Dallas Book Festival will mark the twelfth anniversary of the Dallas Public Library’s premiere literary event. The Dallas Book Festival is a community-based literary event promoting reading, literacy, and writing and featuring over 100 local, regional and national authors. Activities include writing workshops, story times and activities for children, and music and dance performances.

Dr. Sontag will be on hand to sign books and to share a 1:45 pm presentation on where to find inspiration for writing. You'll also be able to see her ancient artifacts of a bronze dagger from the time of Hammurabi, an Egyptian alabaster dating back 3,500 years, and a Phoenician silver coin from over 1,300 years ago. Look for her and her North Texas SCBWI writing friends in the local authors' area.

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Research: Injecting Our Fiction with Life

Arlington, TX
03/10/2018 10:30 am03/10/2018 12:00 pm
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How can we inject relevant research, at appropriate moments and in accurate amounts, to help bring our fiction to life?  This workshop will provide tips on where and how to research in order to find the precise details needed to ground our fiction in reality. To get a more “hands-on” experience, you are invited to bring a laptop to further explore some of the sites we will visit. Handouts will be provided.

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Rio Del Mar School Visit

Aptos, CA
10/21/2016 10:00 am10/21/2016 5:00 pm

I got to meet students at Rio Del Mar in Aptos, CA. I had great interactions with them regarding inspiration and motivation in writing, and in life in general. I also loved watching their campus video via a drone. Notice the ocean in the background of this picture!s at Rio Del Mar in Aptos, CA. I had great interactions with them regarding inspiration and motivation in writing, and in life in general. I also loved watching their campus video via a drone. Notice the ocean in the background of this picture!

Union Middle School

10/13/2016 10:00 am10/13/2016 5:00 pm

I recently spoke at Union Middle School where students posted questions for me using an online tool called TodaysMeet.

Polish Festival

09/18/2016 10:00 am09/18/2016 5:00 pm

I recently had the pleasure of signing books from book one of my WWII series,Rising Hope, at St. Brother Albert Chmielowski’s church.

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Book Launch – The Silver Coin

08/31/2016 10:00 am08/31/2016 11:59 pm

Lawson Middle School

10/12/2015 10:00 am10/13/2016 2:00 pm

Usually when I visit a school, I sign and sell books to the students during break and lunch. At Lawson, however, they organized it differently. They took preorders before I came so that I had the students' names legibly written down and knew how many books to bring for the school, and the staff collected the monies beforehand. This allowed me to quickly meet with each student purchasing a book and sign it for them after each talk instead of waiting until snack break or lunch to sign the books. As at Kennedy MS, we met in the library, 2-3 classes at a time for their class periods over a two-day timeframe.Then, during snack break and lunch, only the students who wanted to meet with me personally were allowed to come to the library, and I had the time to sit with them in smaller groups to answer questions, chat, take photos with them. Several of them took photos (they all had a iPad!!) of the artifacts. What a fun two days at Lawson!

Kennedy Middle School

10/01/2015 12:00 pm10/02/2015 12:00 am

Oct. 1 and 2 I got to visit with the 6th graders at Kennedy Middle School (there are 600 of them!) and shared what it’s like to be a writer. I also showed them my 3,000-year-old bronze dagger, Egyptian alabaster jar, and Phoenician coin. We met in small groups of 60 so the students would have more “hands on” time with the artifacts. We also talked about having dreams and the persistence needed to pursue those dreams. One of the students was wearing the top in the above picture, and I pointed it out as a great slogan for what we were talking about. The next day she brought the shirt back so I could take a picture of it. What a sweet student!

SCBWI Writer’s Conference

07/30/2015 10:00 am08/01/2015 12:00 am

I’ll be in Los Angeles July 30 - Aug. 1 for the SCBWI writer’s conference. I’m looking forward to soaking up more about writing, and mingling with other authors, agents and publishers - because writing can be a lonely profession!

Author’s Night, Holy Spirit School

San Jose, CA
03/12/2015 10:00 am03/12/2015 12:00 pm

, March 12, 2015

Brian 3 15 HS
I recently spoke at Holy Spirit School in San Jose, CA for their Author’s Night where I shared with parents, teachers and students about being an author. I’ve always dreamed of being an author. I shared how dreams can be like a hard boiled egg. They are hard to crack, messy to unpeel, but worth the effort. I love meeting with students, teachers and parents!

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Challenge Your Creativity

School Assemblies
11/01/2014 10:00 am11/30/2014 5:00 pm

One of my critique partners, Rick Crawford, aka Ricky Bruce, and I held two assemblies for 1st-8th grade students at Alma Heights in Pacifica in November. When we addressed the 1st-4th grade students, we had them volunteer for “challenges” (singing, acting, walking with a book on their head), and then spoke on the challenges of reading and writing. We shared about challenges we’ve faced in writing, read a few paragraphs from our books, and then had time for questions and book signing. For the older students, we conducted a science experiment that involved lighting a match and dropping it into a bottle in order to create a vacuum that would suck the egg into the bottle. We then related the scientific principles illustrated in the experiment to principles students can employ when challenging their creativity. We also gave examples from our writing experiences of how we've dealt with challenges to our creativity and how applying the principles we shared made our writing stronger. Thanks, Alma Heights, for your warm reception and the chance to visit your beautiful city on the coast!

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Linden Tree Book Signing

Los Altos Linden Tree Books
10/03/2014 6:00 pm10/03/2014 8:00 pm

The Book Talk at Los Altos' Linden Tree Books brought together four different authors writing in four different genres. Many thanks to the community-minded booksellers at Linden Tree who made it possible. They even served punch and cookies! I highly recommend a visit to Linden Tree Books. One boy who bought The Bronze Dagger after the book talk later informed me via his mom that he "loved the book, thought it was cool," and told all his school friends about it. I was so excited to hear that because Bryan is exactly the kind of person I wrote the book for - boys who don't usually like to read!

Hicklebee’s Book Signing

08/23/2014 7:00 pm08/23/2014 10:00 pm

Hicklebee's was bursting with people and fun at our recent book signing! If you missed it, join us Monday, Oct. 3 at Linden Tree Books in Los Altos from 6-8pm.

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Hicklebee’s Bookstore Local Author Book Signing

San Jose
08/23/2014 2:00 pm08/23/2014 4:00 pm

Hicklebee's Bookstore in San Jose will sponsor a Local Author book signing day Saturday, August 23 at 2pm.

Spring 2014 School Visits

04/28/2014 10:00 am05/09/2014 1:00 pm

April 28 I visited classrooms at Union Middle School in San Jose. I loved being in the classroom again with students, talking about writing and answering their questions. Of course, as usual, they loved seeing the 3,000-year-old dagger up close!

On May 9, Rick Crawford and I shared our books with students at Morgan Hill Christian Assembly school. At the Morgan Hill event, the moms had a "tea" with their sons (although a few girls came). After the tea, Rick and I shared about writing, about our books, and then had a book signing. It was great being with the kids, and also interacting with the parents. We'd do it again in a heartbeat!

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