First Chapter Review: The Wormwood Mysteries: Beyond the Cliff’s Edge by Kimberly Palmucci

This first chapter review is from the middle grade mystery, The Wormwood Mysteries: Beyond the Cliff’s Edge by Kimberly Palmucci. I’ve read Palmucci’s picture books, so she asked me if I wanted to read books 1 and 2 of this series. I am currently reading the first book The Wormwood Mysteries series, Secret of Lake Falls. Beyond the Cliff’s Edge is the second book, which I purchased from Amazon.

BLURB: After being adopted, kitten sisters Mayra and Rosie Wormwood arrive at their fur-ever home and quickly settle in with their new brother and sister, Lucky and Princess. But the kittens have no idea that something else lives in this seemingly cozy house in the middle of the woods—something that only comes out at night.

When several items go missing from the house, and a raccoon disappears from the jagged cliffs in the forest nearby, it’s up to the kittens and their new friends to solve the mystery before time runs out. Will the animals figure out what lies beyond the cliff’s edge? Or will they end up taking a leap of faith to survive?

COVER: Just like the first book in this series, the cover features the outline of animals from the story with the background featuring the setting. These are sharp looking and adorable.

FIRST CHAPTER: Barry is scrounging through the trash cans at the end of the long driveway of a house in the middle of the woods. Hungry, he ran off by himself to find a late night snack. He might end up regretting that decision.

KEEP READING: Definitely. This first chapter sets up the mystery Mayra and Rosie will be investigating and propels the story forward.

Reading Now – The Wormwood Mysteries: Secret of Lake Falls by Kimberly Palmucci

The adoptable pets at Lake Falls Animal Shelter are eagerly awaiting their fur-ever homes, but someone—or something—is chasing those chances away. After a series of potential adopters run screaming from the shelter, the animals know their only hope is to band together to discover the cause of terror in the building.As the weather grows increasingly ominous, so do the suspicions surrounding the mystery. It’s up to kitten sisters Mayra and Rosie Wormwood and their friends in the shelter to chase clues, overcome their fears, and fight for their chance at a happy future. Can the animals solve the mystery before an endless darkness sets upon this quiet countryside shelter? Or has the last adoption already happened at Lake Falls?

Visit the author online at https://kimberlypalmucci.com

Find this book on Goodreads.

PBS KIDS Resources for Discussing the News with Young Children

The tumultuous events events at our nation’s Capitol, the ongoing global pandemic, and discussions of impeachment while preparing for Inauguration Day, leave us facing a chaotic news cycle that is not only tough for parents to digest, but also difficult for kids to ignore. 

We can’t prevent kids from seeing scary things in the news – even if parents don’t feel ready to have conversations about them. Curious kids have questions as they inevitably overhear bits and pieces of what is going on in the world around them. PBS KIDS has created the following resources to help parents steer these tough discussions:

  • A step-by-step guide on helping kids navigate scary news stories: Listen, clarify, look for the helpers, and reassure your child. Parents might not have all the answers, but this step-by-step guide will make tackling difficult subjects something parents can handle. 
  • A lesson on resilience with Arthur: What can you say to kids when upsetting events occur? Can empathy build social skills? This list of resources, activities and videos from Arthur will not only help kids build resilience, but will help parents cope as well!
  • Tips to expand your child’s circle of concern: While children are hard-wired for empathy, it is important to help them to be empathetic to people outside of their immediate circle. This effort is critical to your child’s development, and this list of tips is a useful place to start when tackling tough news stories.  

Final 2020 Goals Review

We came to the end of 2020. Thank goodness for little favors. I don’t know about you, but I feel like I have aged five years over the last 12 months. Enough said about that. Let’s look at how the year went. Here were the goals I set before all the craziness happened.

Goal 1: Develop one of the ideas from my stash.

As I mentioned in October, the closure of one of my publishers caused me to shift gears. All these ideas came out of my participation in STORYSTORM over the last several years. The idea I would like to flesh out is a humorous Christmas story.

Goal 2: Decide which of my completed stories to submit next. 

Still undecided. They didn’t garner interest in some Twitter pitches, so I’m not sure if my pitches were off or if the story ideas just aren’t of interest. I planned to sit down over Christmas break to review them, but work got in the way.

Goal 3: Edit The Sisterhood and submit to the agent I met at a conference. 

Still working on the rewrite of this one. Only on Chapter 4. 😦

Goal 4: Finish additional material for the new version of A Christmas Kindness.

It was great to see the second edition of this book published. It is currently listed in the Critters Writers Readers’ Poll. You can vote for it here.

Goal 5: Acquire and edit three manuscripts for 4RV Publishing. 

It just ended up being two manuscripts this year, but I have edited manuscripts for several other authors as well. I am proud of myself for keeping my toe in this end of the business. My editing services are also in the Critters Writers Readers’ Poll. You can vote for me here.

Goal 6: Write for Guardian Angel Kids.

I am still not over the unexpected and sudden closure of Guardian Angel Publishing. It makes my heart so sad for all the Angels. You can purchase copies of the three books they published for me on my books page. After I go through my stock, they will be unavailable until I find a new publisher.

Goal 7: Write five chapters of Amelia’s Mission. 

This poor story. I even figured out the ending to it now, but just haven’t had time to focus on it with everything else going on. At least writing group happens once a month, so even if I don’t have time to polish it I should be able to move forward with this story.

Now, I am off to bed to finalize my 2021 goals. Hope you accomplished what you wanted to in 2020. Feel free to share your accomplishments. Happy new year!