I’m thrilled to share that The Field was named a Finalist in the American Bookfest Book Awards Science Fiction category!! Whoo Hoo!! It’s good to be loved.
Check out The Catalysts Series!!
So this is happening! Books are shipping now! Buy links below.
Thanks to @cahokiamounds and @angelmounds for helping me with research and @verlunamusic for designing the cover!
“Now you know,” she (Lorraine) continues softly, but her eyes are fierce. “About the terrible future that awaits Earth and humanity if we continue on our current path.” She pauses, placing her hands on the stone on either side of her legs and leaning forward for emphasis. “It can be changed. Are you ready to do your part? Will you allow us to teach you so that you know your own power?”
I want to do whatever I can to stop the destruction I witnessed in the vision. Maybe this is what I’ve been waiting for. A mission and a purpose and connecting with the collective consciousness. I feel a little like I’m stepping off a cliff into the unknown, but if I don’t move forward, I know I’ll regret it.
I take a deep, calming breath. “Yes, I’m ready.”
“How do you know about what will happen in the future?” Leo’s posture is rigid, his voice cutting. “There’s no reason to believe any of it’s true.”
“You’re right in part. There’s no way to definitively know the future. Thousands of possibilities exist with different probabilities. However, what Zeke showed you will very likely happen if we continue to disregard the wellbeing of the Earth. She can only accommodate so much abuse before her equilibrium is tilted irrevocably. Already, floods, hurricanes, fires, volcanoes and tsunamis are increasing in frequency and strength.” I note that she only answers part of Leo’s question. How are they able to predict the future, even if it is just one of many possibilities?
Renee says what all of us are probably thinking, at least a little. “I want to help, but I’m afraid. This is all so much to take in.” Her French accent is very strong, so she must be feeling really agitated.
“Yeah, I agree.” Eric puts his arm behind her back, bracing her. “Can you give us some time and move slowly on this? I mean we just found out that you’re some kind-of shamans and now you want us to save the world?” His weak attempt at a joke falls flat.
I recently held a Blog Tour on Twitter hosted by @TheWriteReads – Thank you Dave! Here is a short list of what bloggers had to say about Catalyst. I’d love to hear what you think – love it or not so much? It definitely brings out a strong reaction in readers which is what every writer is looking for!
While I have to say I really liked this one the first thing I will say about this book is its not going to be for everybody. It is in a word … ok well two words OUT THERE. I feel that a lot will love it and a lot will hate it. – Lisa
Richardson writes a likable main character in Marcie. She’s got the makings of being a strong-willed yet kind-hearted protagonist along with other abnormal (not quite paranormal) gifts. – TR Horne
Catalyst advocates the need to care for our planet with a strong plot. The message it delivers is vital and the approach is a bit different from the other fantasies with similar theme. – Book Bug World
It has science, archaeology, telepathy and spirituality in a complex mix. The thought provoking plot makes this a intriguing and interesting read. – Lel Budge
I loved seeing Marcie figure out her abilities or sixth sense as she calls it, she was such an interesting character, smart and independent. This book was really well done and well written. – Holly Loves Books
Catalyst is a book with a strong message and big ideas. It is well written and goes in depth on fracking, environmental catastrophes, love and friendships, religion, spirituality… and the list goes on and on. I liked this one! I did enjoy the book and would recommend it to people looking for a YA supernatural adventure with a strong environmental message. – The Book Dude
Catalyst is an enlightening tale toward a better tomorrow full of magic and mysteries of the universe. The story transported me to another dimension made of beauty, light, and all that is good. – Tessa Talks Books
I enjoyed this journey of Marcie’s and hope she and the others can bring about some change before it’s too late. – A Voracious Reader
Catalyst is a book with enormous ideas. …readers of YA with a metaphysical or environmental theme will love this. – Elizabeth Tabler
Catalyst is an enlightening YA story that is not very focused on plot but more on characters, the issues at hand and what’s between the lines. It makes you think about what is being said, and about everything that’s left unsaid, and I think that’s part of what makes it so powerful. – The Artsy Reader
This was a very enjoyable book and a rare YA with a thoughtful message. I really liked the characters and the premise of a young girl and her friends using their extrasensory abilities to try to save our earth and its resources. – Maureen
Catalyst is a fun young adult book with a strong lead. I recommend it to readers who are invested in making the world a better place and to very patient sci-fi lovers, as the sci-fi part comes up later in the book. I enjoyed Catalyst and I really hope you do too! – Ari Drummer
I have to agree that there were some unlikely parts to this book, but overall it was really enjoyable and I would definitely recommend to any science fiction fans or anyone who is an advocate for climate change and are against fracking or any other harmful activities to the planet. – Ellie Read to Ramble
After reading the first few chapters, I was hooked.
The book talks a lot about the dangers of fracking and needing to move away from natural gas and oil for pure energy needs. I absolutely loved that aspect of the book! – Sarah Anderson-Pagal
First some updates on Catalyst. Due to Physical Distancing and Social Connections (as I prefer to call it) the paperback release date has been pushed back to September 22nd. However…
the Ebook release date is still June 2nd!!!
Less than two weeks away! Order your copy today!!
I hope to do a Book Tour for Catalyst this Fall. Check out my Events Page for details later this summer.
The Catalysts Series will consist of four books.
The Field – Book I
Catalyst – Book II
Indian Summer – prequel
and the untitled Book III that I’m working on now (80 pages in!!).
Book III is the only true sequel (to Catalyst). The other three books can be read as stand-alone books although many of the same characters appear throughout. I’ve included an environmental theme in all of the books.
The Field is about Eric Holton, a high-school soccer goalkeeper with a super-natural ability to know where the ball is going to go before it gets there. He’s connecting to the Universal Energy Field. The environmental theme compares burning coal to other clean renewable energy sources like wind and solar and also the idea of extracting energy from the Universal Energy field in the air around us. And he’s having the high school experience of trying to get the starting goalkeeper spot, deal with friends being jerks, and trying to get the girl.
In Catalyst, Eric’s younger sister, Marcie, is the protagonist, but Eric and his girlfriend Renee are also featured characters. Eric has just graduated high school and Marcie is a junior.
Marcie, Eric and Renee are spending the summer working at an archaeological dig site in southern Indiana. Things immediately shift into the paranormal when Lorraine and Zeke, two mysterious dig assistants who claim to access the Universal Energy Field with their minds, assert that Earth and its resources are in grave danger. Marcie must decide if she’s brave enough to do her part to save the planet. The environmental theme in Catalyst is the dangers of fracking.
In the first book I wrote, Indian Summer, Marcie is in middle school and is spending the summer at her grandparents’ lake cottage. She discovers that a wealthy property owner is secretly trying to develop an old-growth forest into an exclusive gated community. In her quest to thwart his efforts, Marcie connects with the spirit of a Native American girl. Indian Summer has been completely revised and will be re-released in 2021 as a prequel to The Field and Catalyst.
Book III is in the works right now! I’m writing it from both Marcie and Eric’s point of view. There are two concurrent story lines. Eric and Renee are in France and Marcie is in Washington DC. There is some interaction between the two threads and everything will come together at the end.
During this Great Pause we are having I hope you’ve been able to consider how you might chose to change your behavior going forward. Have you re-evaluated your priorities? Will you focus more on what’s important to you and let other, non-important things go by the wayside?
Protecting the environment and saving planet Earth is very important to me and I think essential for our quality of life going forward. I hope my books make you think and consider what you can do to be a Catalyst for change.
Take care and be well, my friends.
These are difficult times. Doing what I prefer to call ‘Physical Distancing and Socially Connecting’ in order to flatten the curve of COVID-19 and save lives has not been easy. Many of us are out of jobs and have lost not only our income, but also our health insurance. And of course many have become ill and even lost their lives. But we WILL get through this. Maybe in the midst of horror there can be some light. Maybe we will re-define our priorities and focus on what’s really important.
On this 50th Anniversary of the first Earth Day it is important to notice one good thing that has come of the quarantine. Less pollution. Fewer cars on the road, planes in the sky and industry on pause has meant less carbon dioxide pumped into our skies.
Los Angeles – Before and After Shelter in Place Orders
China – Satellite images of pollution reduction
India – Himalayan Peaks visible for the first time in 30 years
The Earth is breathing. The question is – ‘What do we do about it?’ Do we go back to ‘normal’ and continue to pollute our home, planet Earth?
What if, instead, we took this opportunity to change our behavior going forward? What if we drove less and walked and biked more? Flew less and took the train or bus more? Bought electric cars and held our legislators accountable for passing legislation on Climate Change? Are you with me? I think we can do it!!
In the meantime, what can we do NOW while we are physically distancing?
Reducing our Carbon Footprint is one thing we can do. What is a Carbon Footprint? Here’s the dictionary definition:
“the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted due to the consumption of fossil fuels by a particular person, group, etc.”
So, what does that mean exactly? It essentially refers to our personal contribution to the carbon emissions that cause Climate Change. Here are some ways that each of us can have an impact:
Ten Things You Can Do NOW to Help the Environment
1. Plant Trees – Trees consume carbon dioxide and emit oxygen
2. Eat a plant-based diet or have one ‘vegetarian day’ a week.
3. Start a vegetable garden from seeds in your house. When the weather warms up you can dig your garden and grow your own vegetables!
4. Reduce household water waste – install efficient shower heads and toilets. Turn off the faucet when doing dishes or brushing your teeth. Take shorter showers.
5. Upcycle, repurpose and REPAIR clothing and household items instead of buying new or discarding them.
6. Reduce the amount of plastic packaging in the products you buy.
7. Eat locally produced food to reduce the ‘Food Miles’ it takes for your food to travel to you.
8. Tell your legislators to act on Climate Change legislation.
9. Join environmental groups like the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council or the World Wildlife Fund.
10. Follow Teen Climate Change activists on social media. Greta Thunberg, Autumn Peltier, Mari Copeny, Xiye Bastida, Isra Hirsi, Bruno Rodriguez, Helena Gualinga, Jamie Margolin, Jerome Foster II, are a few to check out.
It’s done! I just sent the FINAL manuscript of Catalyst off to Brown Books Publishing. It’s scheduled for a May, 2020 release date – Whoo Hoo!
The cool thing about Catalyst is that it’s never been published before. It’s also the most ‘out-there’ of my three novels. 🙂 And as with my other novels, there’s an environmental theme – fracking
This fall Brown Books will send it off for reviews. Here’s hoping for some great reviews to launch the novel!
My son, Alex Katsaropoulos of Verluna, is designing the cover. It’s super cool and I can’t wait to reveal it to you, but that will have to wait until closer to the release date.
I’ve started outlining Book 4 in the series. A title hasn’t presented itself to me yet, but that will come as the story unfolds. I’ve been mentally working on it for more than a year, but it just wasn’t time to get started. Lots of ideas are bouncing around in my head and I’m excited to put pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard – and see where the ideas take me. I’m planning to write it from both Marcie and Eric’s perspectives. I tried it in Catalyst but it didn’t work. This time I think it will work as there will be two separate storylines. One in France with Eric and Renee and one in Washington DC with Marcie. I think I’ll need research trips to DC and France!! Yea! I LOVE to travel.
More updates to come as things progress!
There are a lot of negative things happening in the world today. Political turmoil, gun violence, environmental destruction, corporate greed, mental illness, homelessness, economic inequity…the list goes on. You get it. It’s easy to become discouraged about the state of our world and to despair that we’re moving in the wrong direction and placing value on the wrong things. I know many of my friends feel that way. But I feel hopeful.
Why am I hopeful? Because I believe that this up swelling of negative, even evil occurrences is causing an equal, or even greater up swelling of positivity in response.
After 9/11, one of the most horrific occurrences to happen in our lifetimes, there was a huge coming together of people from all walks of life. We saw the first responders rush in. I saw a story narrated by Tom Hanks about all of the commercial and private boat owners who mobilized to rescue hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers stranded on Manhattan after the attack. It brought me to tears. For weeks, even months, afterwards people were kinder to one another. Reaching out to help whenever they could. Of course there were also incidences of retribution against Muslim-Americans. I personally reached out to a Muslim family in my neighborhood to see if they were okay. They were okay and the father and I spoke at length about the tragedy of humans attacking each other over religion. He said “there is only one God” and I agree.
What I see happening now is people waking up. Looking for a better way to live, to BE. Martha Beck, author, life coach and speaker, calls it being a Wayfinder. The slogan for her Life Coach Wayfinder course is Find The Way. Be the Way. We are all yearning to connect with one another. To find a deeper meaning in our lives. I recently read a Time Magazine special edition on Happiness. One of the themes recurring throughout the entire magazine is that things and money don’t bring us happiness. Experiences and relationships bring us happiness. Our capitalistic quest for more is not feeding our souls. It’s trying to fill a bottomless pit that can never be satisfied.
It’s not hard to find people and businesses that are Wayshowers. Focusing on healthy eating, healthy living, exercise, helping others, caring for the environment, opposing corporate greed and individual violence and caring for those less fortunate than ourselves are themes that I see all around me. I’m especially encouraged by our young people. Just look at what David Hogg and the Parkland shooting survivors are doing to end gun violence. What Greta Thunberg is doing to bring attention to climate change. What Malala Yousafzai is doing for girls education. The fact that Marianne Williamson, a spiritual teacher, author and activist, is running for president on the politics of love and getting a lot of positive attention is encouraging to me and represents a signpost of the direction I hope we are headed.
In my novel, Catalyst – May 2020 Brown Books Publishing, Marcie Horton, her brother, Eric and their friends are catalysts for change. For bringing a new focus to our world. Are you a catalyst, a Wayshower? You don’t have to do big, splashy things to be one. Start where you are. Don’t use plastic straws. Bring your own bags to the grocery store. Be kind. Pay it forward. Love one another. It all begins with you.
I’m very excited to share that Brown Books Publishing has decided to publish Catalyst in 2020!! It’s the next book chronologically in the series after The Field and is also YA sci-fi.
As with my other books, there is an environmental theme. This time it’s fracking and climate change. I feel it’s an important book as these topics are so critical right now. Getting young people involved and aware is part of my personal mission as a writer.
Eric’s younger sister, Marcie, is the protagonist in Catalyst. It’s the summer before her junior year in high school. Eric and Renee are also featured ~ they’ve just graduated from high school. All three are on an archaeological dig in southern Indiana and discover that ‘Big Oil’ is planning to expand it’s fracking operations.
So excited to share this news!
Indian Summer will still be released as a prequel at some point, just not sure when.
The title of my novel, The Field, has two meanings. The soccer field and The Universal Energy Field. Nikola Tesla postulated in the last century that there is enough energy in a cubic inch of space anywhere in the Universe to power New York City for a day. This field is also called the ‘Zero Point Field’. We know that the air around us is filled with energy waves or forces. Magnetic, sound, light, radio, television, microwave, radiation, etcetera. Most of these waves are outside the realm of human perception. However, we can measure them, and we know that animals can hear sounds that are imperceptible to the human ear, and we benefit from the action of these waves when we watch TV, use our cell phones or microwave our dinner.
Imagine if we could access the Zero Point Field as a totally clean, renewable energy source. No more drilling for oil or natural gas or mining for coal. No more burning fossil fuels and the resulting air pollution. No need for nuclear power and radioactive waste.
I’m a science geek and a passionate environmentalist. The Field includes an environmental theme comparing so-called ‘clean coal’ to wind and solar power and the idea of accessing energy from The Universal Energy Field.
Quantum Mechanics has demonstrated that there is no such thing as a vacuum or nothingness. The Universe is a sea of energy. Scientists are calling it ‘Dark Energy’, and while we don’t know exactly what it is, Einstein predicted its existence when he postulated using a ‘cosmological constant’ to explain the expansion of the Universe.
As Dr. Auberge says in The Field, “We have to set aside what we think we know about the world around us and open our minds to new discoveries. Just because you can’t see it and you don’t understand it, doesn’t mean it isn’t real.”