Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thursday's Special Is...I So Don't Do Mysteries!

I So Don't Do Mysteries by Barrie Summy


A girl. A guy. A ghost. A heist. Yikes!

Sherry (short for Sherlock) wants more mall time, less homework and a certain cute guy. Instead, she's recruited by her mother's ghost to prevent a rhino heist at San Diego's Wild Animal Park.

Here's what people are saying about I So Don't Do Mysteries:
"Summy keeps the fizz in her effervescent premise...using a punchy first-person narration; story lines involving romances, movie stars, rhinos and egotistical chefs; and various eccentricities, including a late grandfather who assumes the form of a wren...Sherry remains entertaining, and readers will hope for a second caper."
--Publishers Weekly

"A seriously funny ghost story packed with mystery, romance and fun." --Sarah Mlynowski, author of the Magic in Manhattan series

"Sherry's relationship with her mother's spirit and her own quirky personality elevate this text by adding sincerity and warmth." --Kirkus

"I SO DON'T DO MYSTERIES is a funny, engaging debut novel and Sherry's antics will keep you turning pages since nothing happens as expected. Ms. Summy's title suggests she so doesn't do mysteries, but I believe she does them very, very well, and I surely hope she will be brewing up more mysteries for Sherry and her mother in the future."
--5 Star Review, Cana Rensberger, TeensReadToo.com (http://www.teensreadtoo.com/DontDoMysteries.html)

"It's a really funny book, Mom, which is weird because you don't have much of a sense of humor." --This is from my very own Child #3!!


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Excerpt from I SO DON'T DO MYSTERIES:


This excerpt is from Chapter three, when Sherry first meets her mother as a ghost. Her mother, an officer with the Phoenix PD, was killed in the line of duty eighteen months earlier.


Weird. Weird. Weird. Next she’ll be telling me she’s going on a field trip to Hogwarts. “And the Academy of Spirits is what, exactly?”

“An organization that trains ghosts to protect the living. To enroll, you need prior experience in a field such as law enforcement, firefighting or PI work. And to advance through the various levels, you have to conquer your weak areas. For example, I’m currently targeting my sense of direction. The Academy is only on the other side of town. Under Dairy Queen. But it took me months to find my way here.”

I rub my forehead, thinking how a Blizzard will never be the same for me.

“Sherry?” Mom’s voice goes soft and gooey and sweet, like fresh bubble gum. “I’ve been watching you, and it looks as though you’ve gotten even more fearful of challenges since I’ve been gone.”

“Mom, I’m fine. Really.” Except for the fact that I totally freeze up in tough situations. Like a Popsicle. As in frozen solid.

“I did some research at the Academy library and found an interesting loophole in their rules.” She pauses. “A loophole that would allow us to work together.”

“Like. . .partners?” I picture Mom’s partner—well, ex-partner—Stefanie, with her cute haircut and cool blue uniform. I smile. Then I picture a bunch of bad guys with guns and scars. I frown.

“It would be completely safe,” Mom says, reading my frown. “You’d just be helping me with a little mystery solving. It would build up your self-confidence.”

It feels like an undigested carnitas burrito with guac and sour cream is sitting in my stomach.

“I don’t do mysteries, Mom. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not Nancy Drew.” I fluff my dark hair for emphasis. “Do I look like a strawberry-blond-haired teenage detective?”

“Sherry--”

“You know me,” I say. “You know I’ll choke.”

I can make myself sweat with memories of my many mistakes. I always flunk pop quizzes; I was held back in beginner swimming five times; I’m the star of miles of videotape of school shows where I just stand there like a moron. And the lame list goes on.

“You wouldn’t be operating alone. I’d be very involved.”

“No, no, no.” I’m shaking my head so fast, the front of my brain has probably Jell-O-jiggled all the way to the back and vice versa.

She sighs. “Sherry, I need to be a little more up-front. I didn’t want to put this pressure on you, but--”

“What? What?” I say. “What’s going on?”

“The Academy is”—Mom clears her throat—“highly competitive. This is my last chance. If I fail this assignment”—her voice cracks—“I’ll have to move on.”

The heavy burrito feeling is back in my stomach. My go-getter mother is failing at something?

“Move on?”

“To the afterlife reserved for Academy failures.”

So I’d be losing her all over again. Right after we found each other. And to a terrible fate for which I don’t want details, thankyouverymuch.

“I really need your help,” she says.

Like the pitiful drummer in our school band, my heart beats all erratically. My mom needs me. My ├╝berindependent, never-turns-down-a-challenge mother needs me. And not just for babysitting but for big stuff. This is mind-blowing. “What would I have to do?”
**********************************************************************

Answer the following question for a chance to win a free copy of I SO DON'T DO MYSTERIES, or stop by and chit-chat with Barrie! Maybe she'll unlock some of her personal mystery!

Please rewrite this sentence, replacing the italicized portion: It feels like an undigested carnitas burrito with guac and sour cream is sitting in my stomach.

87 comments:

Chris Eldin said...

Good Morning, Everyone!!

The timings for these posts usually begin at 9am, but if I'm up early, I'll post them. But the authors may still be snoozing....
hehehe
:-)

*waving to Barrie* ((Our plans changed, and I'm sooo happy to be here!!!))

Welcome, one and all!!
:-)

laughingwolf said...

welcome, barrie... and good morning to you and chris :D

It feels like acrid acid, steaming from an undercooked eggplant, sour green apple and ground turkey goulash, is sitting in my stomach.

:O lol

doggybloggy said...

hey way to go.....

doggybloggy said...

it feels like a cold ball of dirty snow is sitting in my stomach.

strugglingwriter said...

It feels like a nervous, constipated Paris Hilton dog is sitting in my stomach.

:)

fairyhedgehog said...

It feels like an octopus is sitting in my stomach.

Barrie said...

Good morning, good morning. Yawn. It is early here and my tea isn't quite ready. But how nice to already have visitors!

Chris Eldin said...

HAHAHAH!
You guys are in rare form this morning!!
:-)

Barrie said...

And how VERY FUN to already have one of my secrets out in the open! I AM QUEEN OF TYPOS!

The sentence SHOULD READ:It feels like an UNdigested carnitas burrito with guac and sour cream is sitting in my stomach.

Ha!

Barrie said...

Hi Laughingwolf! Yuck! Actually, double yuck, because it's so early here!!!

Barrie said...

Greetings, doggybloggy! Obviously you hail from the land of winter! I'm happy to report we've scheduled a cloud-free, sunny day here in So Cal.

Barrie said...

Nice to make your acquaintance, strugglingwriter! THAT is quite the visual!!

laughingwolf said...

figgered i'd start your day off properly, barrie :O lol

laughingwolf said...

don't wanna brag or nuffin: high for today is to be -11C, windchill drops it to -23! brrrrrrrr

Barrie said...

Oh, laughingwolf, better you than me. My blood has thinned with all these years sans a proper winter. Brrr.

Barrie said...

Hello fairyhedgehog! I just took a peek at your blog. Love the hamster on the sidebar, BTW. And...your comment about an octopus sitting in your stomach gave me an immediate image of SeaWorld. Weird, eh?

Charles Gramlich said...

Ahh, glad I'm not late. I'm looking forward to this book.

Barrie said...

Hi Charles! Thank you for saying that. I So Don't Do Mysteries will be quite a departure from your normal book fare. So, I'm looking forward to hearing what you think.

Word said...

Morning Everyone! Morning Barrie!

I think this book is getting some buzz over at Verla's. At least I remember seeing a thread heading for "I so don't do mysteries". I took it literally though. I thought the thread was about writers lamenting about the tortures of writing mysteries for kids so I never even went into the thread.

So thank goodness for Book Roast! Now I know that this is one to put on my list. It sounds really good - and I'm not just sayin' that so I can win a free copy of your book and read it and then give it to my daughter to read because she was just commenting on how much she is enjoying the slightly ghostly tween novel she's currently reading and how much she'd like to read more books like that. ((do I get a run - on sentence award?))

So Barrie - we are kindred spirits. I am also a typo junkie. Just ask Chris. She lashes me with her typo whip on a monthly basis. Which is fine - but I think she enjoys it - which worries me somewhat.

Let's see -

It feels like my fear of eating a black watermelon seed has been fully realized and is now sitting in my stomach.

darbyscloset said...

It feels like a "fire breathing salsa drinking dragon is giving birth" in my stomach right now.
Cute idea!
Give child #3 a chance. perhaps she doesn't know funny!
Thanks so much,
Darby
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

Barrie said...

Hi Word! My children have that same fear of eating black watermelon seeds. :) And...that typo is really bugging me! So....what is your daughter reading?

Barrie said...

Hi Darbyscloset! Thanks for stopping by. I generally like salsa, but, maybe not the kind you've described! :) And, about Child #3, he's quite the character. Every family should have one. ;)

Barrie said...

I'm dashing off to take my highschooler to class. And he had to choose the high school across town. Not the one 4 blocks away from our house! The decision was based on...the water polo team! See ya shortly.

Word said...

I think Rachel is reading something called "Mediators". She was describing it, talking about how the protag talks to ghosts and has to help them "cross over". So, I asked her, "Are you sure it isn't called 'Medium'"? But she was insistant that it was called Mediators. Now, I'm wishing I would have asked her to show me the book. Darn it! Well - I'm going home for lunch and the kids are home from school today to I can maybe see it with my own eyes.

Mary said...

I’m almost halfway through ISDDM and enjoying it immensely. By page 30, I had decided I wanted to be Sherry’s best friend. She is a fabulous character. And her mother is one of the funniest ghosts I’ve read. The plot and pacing are strong, and keep me quickly turning the pages.

Congratulations, Barrie! This is a rollicking good read. :)

Ello said...

It feels like a swarm of angry leprechauns are Irish stepdancing in my stomach.

It feels like a mound of undigested hakarl (Icelandic rotted shark meat)is sitting in my stomach.

It feels like the angry swarm of angry leprechauns have eaten the hakarl and are now getting sick while Irish stepdancing in my stomach.

Hey Barrie - Can you tell I want to win a copy of your book?!!!

Barrie said...

Mary, have I told you lately how much I love you? ;)

Barrie said...

Hey, Word--is it Mediators by Meg Cabot? I really enjoyed that book. Fun twist with a ghost.

Chris Eldin said...

Hi Barrie,

So sorry I didn't even see the typo! I think as writers we all read so fast that these things are barely noticeable.
Anyway, I changed it....
:-) It's a very funny line!!!

Barrie said...

Ello--love your enthusiasm! So weird that you use leprechauns because my child #4 is reading book called Leprechauns Don't Play Basketball. I never thought I'd hear so much about leprechauns in, uh, January. Ha!

Barrie said...

Dashing off again to take Child #3 and Child #4 to school. I know you're all jealous of my exciting life. Yeah, right!

Mary said...

Barrie - no, but it’s very nice to hear. ;)

Barrie said...

Mary, I thought you'd appreciate a little bloggy love. ;)

Barrie said...

Chris, thank you for changing the typo. I would not make a good copyeditor, that's for sure.

Anyway, I'm back and enjoying my second cup of tea and my blueberry muffin. My house is quiet. Dorothy the Dog is curled up in a patch of sun at my feet. I'm tweaking a powerpoint while keeping an eye on your guys.

Stephen Parrish said...

Hi Barrie. Jus' li'l ole me. I never win anything on this blog. I think it's a conspiracy. And to add insult to injury, they're parading around a naked Italian guy. Have you seen him? It's disgusting. I only came out of respect for you. Don't touch anything while you're here.

Anyway, here's my entry, not that it will make any difference, because of the conspiracy, and besides, "constipated Paris Hilton dog" already has my vote:

It feels like Dick Cheney and his ancestors, all the way back to the first paramecium, are sitting in my stomach, shooting each other in the face, and what I don't get is why a naked Italian guy is in there too.

Barrie said...

Hi Stephen! I don't know what the naked Italian guy is doing here either! I'm so sorry about the conspiracy. Is it something you've done? :)

Sarah Laurenson said...

Hey,

I heard there was some smoking hot young adult on the grill today. Looking good! And I'm hungry!

Love the excerpt, Barrie. And the answers to the question. Too, too funny.

Well, off to work. Darn.

(Got your back on the typo, Barrie.)

Barrie said...

Sarah, have fun at work. And do not worry for even one second--we will NOT talk about you while you're gone! Seriously, thanks for stopping by.

brian_ohio said...

Hi Barrie! Great to see you pasted all over the Internet. Um... yeah, pasted in a good way.

Any-who, here's what I came up with...

It feels like a chick pea or a skin tag is sitting in my stomach.

peggy said...

Morning everyone, Hi Barrie,
What a fun story this looks like, can't wait to read it..
rewrite the sentence? okie dokie, heres my shot at it :)

It feels like an undigested hairball like something my cat my leave for me as a gift but it's sitting in my stomach.

Barrie said...

Hi Brian! I knew you'd find me over here. And super yuck on the chick pea + skin tag sentence. Especially because I know the whole gross backstory from your post today! :)

Sam said...

This sounds like SO much fun!!

It feels like there is a whole troop of rhinos along with a good portion of the river bank and most of the river churning in my stomach.

Barrie said...

Hi Peggy! There is something universally icky about hairballs, isn't there? Great to *see* you! And...I just popped over to your blog and saw that you really do have cats in your life.

Barrie said...

Sam!!! You used rhinos in your sentence! That is too fantastic!

peggy said...

Yeah, I have cats alright, the Alien beans drop them off all the time.

Bee said...

"It feels like a lump of lard is sitting in my stomach."

Fantastic reviews, Barrie. (Your child's was the funniest.)

Barrie said...

Bee!! Thank you for coming to visit. And I should've guessed you'd do a cooking sentence! About Child #3--I should compile a list of things he's said! Hope your birthday week is still going well!

laughingwolf said...

hey barrie, unlike so many others out there, i'm willing to share... my cold weather... forecast sez it's to get even colder, with windchill: a balmy -43, later in the week :(

THAT should kill most things in anyone's stomach ;) lol

Word said...

I'm lmao over here. Naked Italian guy? Is he Italian? Hmmm, didn't even notice.

Barrie - You were right. It was The Mediator by Meg Cabot.

Dave F. said...

I'm having bad flashbacks to when my two nieces used to demand "My Little Pony" videos and all those girly, sugary sweet pastel dance things with bouncy music for their birthday parties. Being a good uncle, I took a prozac and pretended I enoyed myself.

AS for that line: It feels like an undigested carnitas burrito with guac and sour cream is sitting in my stomach.
For those of us allergic to most seasonings in Mexican foot, that's a death sentence. Or at least serious internal injury.
;)

We could go gross:
It feels like a deep fried hamster in hot sauce with garlic bread and cream cheese in my stomach.

We could go carnival:
It feels like an cotton candy with spumoni ice cream and sprinkles sitting in my stomach.

We could go Barbecue:
It feels like an overdone chicken breast slathered smoked with walnuts and covered with orange and cranberry glaze is sitting in my stomach.

Barrie said...

Hi Dave F! It might just be because it's close to lunch, but that bar-b-que sounds pretty!! Also, I had about as much of My Little Pony as I could take too!

Barrie said...

Oh, laughingwolf, that is colder than cold. We complain down here when it even looks like rain!

Barrie said...

Hi again, Word! Actually, I was under the impression that these Book Roast people just provided a naked Italian guy for each roast. So, he doesn't come home with me?

Word said...

Hey Laughing Wolf - We have the -40 wind chills today! All the schools closed and it looks like they might close tomorrow as well. Work stayed open though.

Bundle up if it's coming your way.

Barrie - I'm moving to where you live. I'd rather complain about rain than wind chills.

laughingwolf said...

fear not, barrie... forecast for monday, mid-january in eastern canada... RAIN!

go figger....

laughingwolf said...

my word, WORD! :O lol

Barrie said...

Word, give me a shout when you get settled down here. We'll meet in Old Town for some decent Mexican food. :)

Barrie said...

Laughingwolf, just keep that rain in your neck of the woods. Thankyouverymuch!

Chris Eldin said...

Wow! You guys are a disgusting and creative bunch!
;-) heheheeheh

-40! I can't even imagine. It must feel like you're being slapped if you go outside.

Word said...

Yeah - and your nostril hairs freeze.

Tee hee.

I'm not kidding am I laughing wolf..

Barrie - Gosh - hot mexican food sounds outstanding!

Chris V. said...

It feels like last night's Taco Bell Tacos are sitting in my stomach like Scrooge's undigested bits of beef. Yuck. Last time I eat cheap.

Barrie said...

Yeah, Chris V, ya gotta watch it with that cheap fast food! Although I do love Wendy's fries...

Barrie said...

Speaking of cold, I can remember living in Quebec and covering my mouth with a scarf because it hurt to breathe the cold air. I do not miss those days. (Although there are other things I miss about Quebec.)

Chris Eldin said...

I guess everyone is now having burritos for dinner.
Yum.
;-)

Dave F. said...

Not burritos - pan friend steak and roast potato with a salad - romaine dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Word said...

Dang - Dave F - make sure you teach Naked Italian guy how to cook. That would make him perfect.

We had left-overs. Blah.

So Barrie - if you're still hanging out - I'd like to hear more about the book. Specifically - the dead mom element. As a mother, did you find it hard to get in the zone of the mom's voice. Even though this sounds like a humorous and fun book, I wonder if it was at all emotionally draining at times?

Chris Eldin said...

Hi all,

Thank you to everyone for stopping by!!!

Thank you to Barrie for sharing some family recipes. hehehe! Seriously though, many thanks for spending time with us and sharing news about your most awesome book!

Barrie will pop in at any time and announce the winner. Once she does, the winner needs to contact her to make arrangements.

Thank you again!!!
:-)

Barrie said...

Dave F--what time are you serving?

blueviolet said...

Oh shoot, I think I got here too late but Barrie...I did show up. I'm sorry I'm late!

It feels like a throbbing gelatinous mound of erupting pimples is sitting in my stomach.

Congrats on your book, by the way! :)

Barrie said...

Hi Word! I am still around. Although I may be the only one. ;) I had to leave you guys for a while to chauffeur kids around to their various activities.

Okay. About your question, Word. Was the book emotionally draining to write? Not really. I mean, yes, I felt anxious when Sherry and her mother didn't get along. Because I have, on a few VERY RARE occasions (ha!), been in that same predicament with my own kids. But I knew they'd work things out and that they were very happy to have this strange chance to be together again.

Actually, the second book (I So Don't Do Spooky) was more emotionally draining. There are more family/people relationship issues. Without giving away any spoilers, my editor said she even teared up when reading it.

Hope this helps. :)

Barrie said...

Blueviolet, blueviolet! I'm still here too. (waving hands madly). I just put on a pot of tea. I've got some terrific cookies. Come on, pull up a chair. It's good to see you. :)

Dave F. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave F. said...

I already ate when I posted that last missive.

I learned to cook because I have multiple food allergies and a stomach that hates food. So I bought cook books, good pots and pans, and the best ingredients I can eat.

For spaghetti sauce I buy imported tomatoes grown in San Marzano near Pompeii. They are the sweetest and best tomatoes in the world thanks to all that volcanic ash.

blueviolet said...

Yes, I will have some tea and cookies. Thank you. Yummy!

laughingwolf said...

barrie, it won't last... more cold after monday :(

Barrie said...

Oh, laughingwolf, I'm sorry. Bundle up as best you can. Better yet, grab a good book, a coffee and a comfy chair next to the fire.

Barrie said...

Blueviolet, did I mention I baked you my Mom's Irish shortbread cookies. High in fat, high in sugar, high in taste. Yummy!

Barrie said...

Thank you one and all for wonderful roasting experience!

laughingwolf said...

thx barrie, while i have lotsa books, i don't have YOUR book... yet ;)

Chris Eldin said...

Hi Everyone, if you're still checking back.....Barrie will be around later to post a winner. I think she's going to let one of her children draw a name from a hat.
:-)
I have this same feeling about choosing 'winners' LOL!!! It's very very hard!!

Thanks again!!
:-)

Ello said...

So...........

Did I win?

Pretty please?

laughingwolf said...

lol... if i let one of my three draw names from a hat it'd be months before a winner was decided ;)

barrie's are better trained, obviously!

Stephen Parrish said...

My lawyers are standing by.

Chris Eldin said...

Hi all,

Sorry for the delay! If by some chance Barrie is unable to pick a winner, I will by the time Elysabeth's post goes up (in a couple of hours).

Thanks for your patience!!!

No worries--there are plenty of disgusting entries to choose from, heheheheeh, and one of them will win a free book from Barrie.

:-)

Chris Eldin said...

Good Morning everyone! I don't think Barrie will mind if I go ahead and choose a winner. Being a mom with four children, I'm sure she's pulled in several different directions!

My pick for grossest ('cause that was my measuring meter) was the dancing piggy with
It feels like a mound of undigested hakarl (Icelandic rotted shark meat)is sitting in my stomach.


Congratulations to Ello!!! I think your daughters will enjoy Barrie's book very much!!! Please contact Barrie offline to make arrangements.

Thank you to everyone, and thanks to Barrie for spending time with us at the grill!!

:-)

fairyhedgehog said...

Well done, Ello, and thanks to Chris for sorting out the competition when real life got in the way for Barrie. I'm sure we all know what that's like!

laughingwolf said...

grats el, a most disgusting entry :P lol