Sea Squirt

A tiny jellyfish-like animal called a sea squirt is born with a simple spinal cord and a three hundred-neuron brain. The larva motors around in the shallows until it finds a nice patch of coral on which to put down its roots. It has about twelve hours to do so, or it will die. Once safely attached, however, the sea squirt simply eats its brain.

Bell Weather

BELL WEATHER is officially the title of my next novel, which will be published by Holt in Summer 2015.

I’ll be posting news about the book here at this blog, and since the story is set in a reimagined 18th-century, I’m posting period-related images and music at a second blog called The Orange Tavern.

Here’s a description of BELL WEATHER:

A young woman floats down a river in colonial Floria, a strange and vivid country in a reimagined 18th Century. Her name is Molly Bell, and her origin is unknown when she is saved from the water by Tom Orange, a surly local hero running a tavern plagued with trouble.

Molly — full of life and naturally calamitous — is powerfully drawn to Tom, who keeps her close but keeps his distance. As Molly makes her way in the isolated town of Root, fragments of her past come to light against her will. A desperate voyage overseas with threatening storms and shipmates. A genius brother, grim but loving, now mysteriously absent. Echoes of a tragedy she hasn’t fully escaped.

As perils intertwine and secrets are revealed, danger menaces the tavern Molly and Tom call home: supernatural weather, forest thieves who steal people’s limbs, and a growing number of enemies who will force them to decide between surviving on their own or risking everything together.

Follow me here at the blog or on Twitter (@Giganticide) for future updates.