Book Review ~ “Clockbreakers” by Kate Ristau

I was lucky enough to be able to read a copy of Kate Ristau’s “Clockbreakers”…before everyone else! Hee hee! ūüôā You are all going to love this new series (YES, that is an epic MINOTAUR on the cover!!) and it comes out in just a few weeks!!


“Clockbreakers” by Kate Ristau



On her eleventh birthday, Charlie receives a key to go back in time. But before she blows out her candles, she rolls her wheelchair right into Ancient Greece with her best friend Maria and her former best friend Trent. She’s a Clockbreaker on an action-packed adventure with a mission: to save her father, and perhaps even save the world.

My thoughts:

A wonderful adventure for both kids and adults that you will NOT be able to put down! (I had many a night where I told myself just five more pages!) The heroine, Charlie, is a witty young girl who, like every eleven-year-old, wants everyone to stop treating her like a child. When she and her friends are thrust into adventure, Charlie rises to the occasion despite the challenges in her way. Ristau does an amazing job of weaving Greek mythology into this story, leaving the reader (like myself!) curious to know more. Clockbreakers will play out like a movie in your head…and I’m ready for the sequel!

Basically…get ready to be hooked!

About the author:


Kate Ristau is an author and folklorist who writes young adult and middle grade fiction. In her ideal world, magic and myth combine to create memorable stories with unforgettable characters. Until she finds that world, she’ll live in Portland, Oregon with her husband, her son, and her dog.

Find out more about “Clockbreakers” and Kate’s other amazing work at¬†!

New cover for The Mayan Ruins!


Mayan Ruins ebook cover Flat

Illustration by Matt Smith!

I’m super excited to reveal the new cover for

The Quinn Family Adventures: The Mayan Ruins

For the last few weeks I’ve been working with an amazing artist, Matt Smith, to create an illustration to replace the existing cover. We decided the old cover was halfway there…it had a bit of “textbook” feel to it due to the photograph.

Out with the old!
Out with the old!

It was a really fun (and easy!) experience¬†to work with Matt on this project… and I think he¬†created an illustration that really captures the adventure of the story! (If I had drawn it myself, you would have seen stick figures holding a map.)

Check¬†out more of Matt’s work at¬†Smith vs. Smith¬†– I love the¬†weekly comics he posts and he also does commission work, such as this book cover! I also follow his¬†Instagram account, where you can see his comics and process videos!

Now I really feel like this book is wrapped up and complete…and the plans for the next book in the series are on the horizon!

Complete book jacket design!
Complete book jacket design!

The Quinn Family Adventures: The Mayan Ruins – now in print!

Cover design by the Talented Mr. Nicholas Ritch
Cover design by the Talented Mr. Nicholas Ritch


It has been a long road of lengthy edits (I believe I was on proof 4 when I was finally able to approve it) but The Quinn Family Adventures: The Mayan Ruins is now available in print! This book has been available as an E-book for a few months but the print version proved a bit of a challenge. We had some formatting hiccups which led to very small errors in the copy, such as random extra spaces inserting between text and quotation marks. This was so unbelievably obnoxious to me, its very possible that no one would have ever seen it for all of time, but I would forever know they were there.

What some people see: “Hello, my name is Erin Ritch. “

What I see: “Hello, my name is Erin Ritch. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†“

I’m excited to have another completed book ready to go! Onto the next!


Middle Grade Wednesday’s – “Atop Mt. Lonely” (part one)

Welcome to Middle Grade Wednesday!

For those of you that may not know, “Middle Grade” is a term used in the publishing industry for books that are aimed towards a younger audience, usually between 8-12. That’s not to say other age groups could not enjoy the story (um, Harry Potter, anyone?) but this helps distinguish a book in the marketplace.

That being explained, I’ve decided to start a feature on my blog that showcases excerpts from the various Middle Grade stories I have finished. Some are simply just not long enough to turn into book form, so hence, I will share them here!

Our first story in this series will be “Atop Mt. Lonely.” It’s the story of two twin girls (Carlee and Marlee) who love mountain climbing – and their next adventure will take them to the cliffs of Mt. Lonely. The mountain is shrouded in mystery; other climbers tell the legend of a man that haunts the top of the mountain. But the two sisters can’t resist the call of adventure and tackle the mountain together – what they find might surprise you…



Image credit Tony Guyton

Atop Mt. Lonely (part one)

Thirteen year old Carlee Ramus snatched several rock climber’s pitons, used to to help the mountain climber ascend. She¬†threw two of the pitons to her¬†twin sister, Marlee, who caught them, surprised. She¬†rubbed her head in thought, looking around their bedroom for any other supplies they might need on their trip.

Carlee dug wildly through her closet, throwing junk to the floor. She sighed in satisfaction as she grasped one of her many pairs of binoculars and dropped them in her backpack sloppily. Marlee carefully dropped a set of gloves into her backpack.

Although Carlee and Marlee were identical twins,¬†their¬†attitudes were very opposite.¬†Carlee liked to do things fast; make split second decisions, whether they worked out¬†or not. ¬†She dressed sloppily, not really caring if the clothes matched.¬†Marlee liked to do things slowly; figuring out the situation carefully before making¬†a move. She had beat Carlee at chess more times than she could count.¬†Marlee’s ¬†clothes always matched, her hair always in place. She was not¬†vain, exactly, but felt that everything had to be perfect.

The one thing the girls did have in common was their love for mountain climbing.¬†Often called the “Climbing Ramus Twins,” Carlee and Marlee climbed challenging¬†rock mountains every month. ¬†It was the middle of July, and the monthly trip¬†had been arranged. The girls liked to camp out on every mountain all alone –¬†they considered it a test of their strength.

¬†“Carlee,” Marlee coughed from under her sister’s dusty bed.¬†“Where did you put your boots? They’re not under here.”

¬†Carlee stuck her head out from the deep depths of her closet.¬†“Oh, they’re in the garage refrigerator. I couldn’t find any room in my side of the¬†closet and the fridge was empty.”

Marlee scratched her head in wonder at her sister’s uncleanliness then set off¬†for the garage refrigerator.

Fred Ramus, the father of the two girls, stepped into the messy room. Maps clung to the walls, while clothes were strung across the floor.

“Carlee?” he called, wondering if he could find his daughter in the disaster area.

“Yeah?” Carlee called back, her voice muffled from the depths of her¬†closet.

“I’ve already told Marlee, but I’ve checked the weather report. The skies are going to be calm for you on your trip,” Mr. Ramus announced.

“Great! Can we stay an extra day on the mountain, then?” Carlee exclaimed.

Mr. Ramus laughed, ” No, I’m afraid not. We’ll stick to the original schedule –¬†we leave tomorrow and your mother and I will pick you girls up in four days.”

Marlee burst into her room, accidentally bumping into her father.¬†She held Carlee’s mud covered mountaineering boots.

“Carlee!” she sighed loudly.¬†“Look at your boots! You can’t go climbing in these.”

Carlee grunted and climbed out of her closet. She yanked a scarf off her head and frowned.

“Of course I can! They’re just…broken in. I got them wet last week¬†when I was saving my bike from the rain. And, well…you know what¬†our yard is like after it rains…” Carlee explained.

Marlee shook her head.  She grabbed a bag and carefully stuck the boots in it. Their mother, Susan, called them to dinner from the kitchen. Carlee jumped out of the closet and raced downstairs. Marlee followed quickly, Mr. Ramus close behind.

New book release announcement! “The Mayan Ruins”


I’m excited to announce that the start of my new series “The Quinn Family Adventures” has just been released on Kindle E-book! “The Mayan Ruins” is book one in this series, which is aimed towards preteens and lower middle grade readers. It’s a fun, exciting read that I hope will inspire young readers to explore more of the fascinating world of history that we have at our fingertips.¬†

Here’s a quick synopsis:

13 year old Dawn is the daughter of the two famous archaeologists, Stanley and Alana Quinn. Their expeditions have taken them from one end of the earth to the other ‚Äď and this time, they will travel to the mysterious rain forests of Guatemala. The Quinn family has been asked to find the Mayan Ruins, structures hidden somewhere near the sleeping volcanoes of the country‚Äôs Northern Region. Aided by local guides and Dawn‚Äôs new friend, Juanita, the Quinn family starts their expedition only to be split up in the thick maze of the Guatemalan jungle. When Dawn‚Äôs parents become captured by local thieves, she must use all her skills (and the help of her new friends) to find the Mayan Ruins, escape the jungle and save her family.

Only .99 now on Amazon! 

I plan on releasing more titles in the series in the upcoming weeks!