Just this past December, the last month of 2011, I published two ebooks in a series of MG/YA novels. The first is Lily, Unleashed, at only a mere $2.99 for over sixty-five thousand words of reading enjoyment; and the second one is Lily and PAWS: The Ghosts of Summer, retailing for less than a meal at Mickey D’s, a paltry $2.99! Get ’em both, for less than the price of a sandwich at Subway, plus a bag o’ chips and soft drink! I truly hope you get the opportunity to read both books, and enjoy them.

What are they about? The first book, Lily, Unleashed, is told in the first-person by Lily Elizabeth Quince, a somewhat paranoid (but with good reason) terrier/pterodactyl.  She is the leader of the crime-fighting organization, PAWS (Private Army of Warrior Sleuths). The other members of PAWS are Lucy Marmoset Higgins (a Great Dane/orangutan), Prince Alphonse Saed (a miniature dachsund/Mountain Lion) and Fuzzy Wally MacGee (perhaps the coolest but most mentally-challenged of them all–he’s a Chinese Crested/rhino). Twisted? Yes, most definitely–but funny and heart-warming, as well.

Lily, Celeste, and the other members of  PAWS fight against the Dangers of Strangers and crime in all of it’s forms, especially their arch-enemies, the Scarlet SNURFLES (Super Nefarious Union of Rascals Formidably Linked in Everlasting Solidarity). It is headed by the Scarlet Macaw, Frankie Sinister. They also battle against the Scarlet Mafia, which is led by the Scarlet Macaw Benny the Beak. Other foes they face are the aliens known as the Greys, the cute but evil red panda, General Yao Xing, and the head of the Guild of Assassins, the Egyptian red fox known as Omar Khalid Ali.

Then, there’s the evil Oompah-Loompah-like Christmas elves of the Scarlet & Gold Marines, nefarious Leprechauns, and…more.

Oh, and Celeste’s parents are both multi-millionaire inventors of odd but useful items such as Melon Bottom Jeans.  They live in the fictional city of 350,000, Centralia, Arkansas, a very strange city, indeed. There are references to other cities in Arkansas, such as Paris, though there are many,many more references in Lily and PAWS: The Ghosts of Summer. Her father is Quentin Quintilius Quince, and Lily often calls him simply Triple Q. Celeste’s mother is Clare, and she is, among other things, a wild life specialist and an inventor of animal care products such as parrot shampoo and doggie treats.

Lily and PAWS: The Ghosts of Summer is the sequel. It’s shorter, somewhat, but that’s because it takes place only over the course of a summer, whereas Lily, Unleashed, takes place over an entire year’s time frame. While Lily and PAWS: The Ghosts of Summer is still humorous, it also has many dramatic  and chilling moments (they both do, but The Ghosts of Summer has even more than the first book).

Lily and PAWS are again plagued by the crimes and troubles of Frankie and the Scarlet SNURFLES. This time, Frankie has a scheme to convince everyone that he has a solution to the energy crisis: convert ghosts into an energy source. The ghost of the famous “Bandit Queen,” Belle Starr asks Lily and Celeste for help in saving the ghosts of Arkansas, and, in doing so, also save the living. That’s because Frankie’s real intention is to use the ectoplasmic energy of the ghosts to power a Doomsday weapon.

I did a lot of research on the history and haunted locations of Arkansas, my adopted state, while writing this sequel. I was surprised at how many truly haunted places there are in the state, and I learned quite a bit about Arkansas’ history I hadn’t known before. Though I touch on the issue of slavery, and mention the famous Civil War Battle of Pea Ridge, I felt that history books already have educated people about slavery and how terrible is was, so I would get into other aspects about the history of Arkansas that weren’t as well known.

In the first book, Lily, Unleashed, for instance, I incorporate into the plot the influence of immigrants such as the Irish-Americans, and the fact that the Spanish conquistadors traveled through Arkansas. They even mined silver and gold here, though the state is not particularly known for having large deposits of either. They noticed Native Americans wearing earrings and other baubles made from these precious metals, and took over some Indian mines here.

I had a load of fun writing both of these first two novels in my series The Case Files of Lily and PAWS, and I hope you have fun reading them at Amazon’s Kindle store! I tried to incorporate tons of pop and cultural refernces in them, also, like the Beatles, Johnny Cash, Dr. Phil, Lady Gaga, Adele, U2, Justin Beiber, Justin Timberlake, Johnny Depp, and many, many more. I did so in the spirit of tryingt o instill as much light-hearted humor as possible into these novels. Please check them out, write reviews of them at Amazon and your own blogs/Facebook pages, and pass on word of these novels to your family & friends!

I look forward to reading the reviews and your comments, and I will try to update this blog at least twice a week, though what with my day job and my writing, and spending quality time with my family, that might prove difficult to do some weeks.