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A first for The Last Grand Adventure

I’m thrilled to share that The Last Grand Adventure is a 2019 WILLA Literary Award Finalist in Children’s Fiction and Nonfiction. While writing Bea and Pidge’s story, I hoped their journey would celebrate the beauty and rich culture of the parts of the West they traveled through, from Orange County to Atchison, Kansas. It’s deeply meaningful to receive this honor and know that I succeeded in capturing the setting that so inspired me!

About the award: The WILLA Literary Awards honors the best in literature, featuring women’s or girls’ stories set in the West that are published each year. Women Writing the West (WWW), a non-profit association of writers and other professionals writing and promoting the Women’s West, underwrites and presents the nationally recognized award annually at the WWW Fall Conference. The award is named in honor of Pulitzer Prize winner Willa Cather, one of the country’s foremost novelists.

For more information and to see the other winners and finalists, visit Women Writing the West.

The Disaster Days is a JLG Selection!

The Disaster Days is a Junior Library Guild selection for fall 2019!

I’m thrilled that it will be on even more library shelves thanks to JLG’s fantastic subscription services and recommendations lists.





THE DISASTER DAYS: first trade review!

The first trade review for The Disaster Days is in, and Kirkus loved it!

You can read the full review here, and if your curiosity is piqued, you can preorder a copy now from the following retailers:



Barnes & Noble




THE DISASTER DAYS cover reveal!

A few weeks ago*, the awesome website YAYOMG! helped me share the cover for The Disaster Days–and an exclusive sneak peek into the book.

Be sure to check out all of YAYOMG!’s great book coverage–tons of interviews, posts, cover reveals, roundups, and more!

I also got a special delivery from my editor at Sourcebooks: ARCs!

I’m so excited for this story to head out into the reading world.

*Er, why am I sharing this just now? I have a book due on May 1, and I’ve been in my writing cave. 🙂

The Last Grand Paperback Adventure

Bea and Pidge are hitting the road again–this time, in a fancy new trade paperback.

Maybe it’s because I often read on the go, as a traveler and a commuter (so lighter books = more I can tuck in my tote), but paperback is my favorite format as a reader. I’m excited to see what adventures Bea and Pidge tag along on in this new format!

Add The Last Grand Adventure to your Goodreads shelf!Order in hardcover, paperback, or e-book from these retailers:
The Last Grand Adventure by Rebecca Behrens at Barnes & Noble The Last Grand Adventure by Rebecca Behrens at Books-a-Million The Last Grand Adventure by Rebecca Behrens at Indiebound The Last Grand Adventure Found by Rebecca Behrens at Indigo The Last Grand Adventure Amazon

2018 in Reading

Thanks to Goodreads (which I tend to use as a booklog, pretty much just for this purpose), I’m taking a look back at my reading stats for 2018:

These books took me from Cameroon to Moscow to Fiji to Antarctica to Topsea, and from Ancient Greece to outer space. (Can I get airline miles for this?!)

In terms of category, I read 18 middle grade books, 4 YA, 4 nonfiction, and the rest were adult fiction. And I seem to have a thing for blue covers.

In 2019, I’m switching from reading goals to a reading thesis: read to discover, read diversely, read without time pressure, read joyfully. I’m debating whether to keep tracking online–it is handy for the year-end page and book count (although I cannot figure out why Goodreads insists these 59 books are 60), but it also adds a little pressure to add, add, add books. We’ll see what I decide . . .

What were your favorite books of the year, and what do you hope to read in 2019?

New Canaan + nErDcampLI

Time flies when you’re having fun . . . or you’re revising. I was doing both this fall. In November I turned in the final manuscript for my next MG novel, which will be out in October 2019. The new title (and cover, and a bunch of other info) I’ll share in the new year!

In terms of fun, I had great trips to Wisconsin (where the fall color is always divine), California (where the Disneyland is always magical), and Sleepy Hollow (where the Halloween is pumpkininny). In terms of bookish fun, on October 28 I visited the lovely New Canaan Library for a middle-grade author extravaganza. We had a lively panel followed by a signing, and it was delightful.

The extravagant authors (and friends)

Our books on display at Elm Street Books 🙂

The lovely library

The next Saturday was one of my favorite days of the year: nErDcampLI! I was too busy learning, sharing, connecting, laughing to take many pictures, but here are two:

Our panel on school visits went great–lots of ideas to incorporate for next year!

Book love in cookie form

Now I’m ready to hibernate with a new project I’m writing. Hope your fall was fantastic!

Warwick Children’s Book Festival

Last Saturday, I spent the day in charming Warwick, NY, at the Warwick Children’s Book Festival. I got to meet with eager readers, signed lots of books and shared 1960’s candy (just like Bea and Pidge would’ve eaten on their cross-country trip), and enjoyed local delicacies: NY apples and apple cider doughnuts. After a long week, it was wonderful to get out of the city and connect with book people.

If you have a chance to go next year, I highly recommend it!

Meeting with a reader

I’m still wondering what’s in a Zagnut bar . . .

Cider doughnut!

Talking fact and fiction on diyMFA Radio

I love talking about writing about as much as I love writing (so, a lot). And I had a great time talking about historical fiction and the writing life with one of my “Write Nite” pals (and directly-across-the-street neighbor) Gabriela Pereira. We get into:

  • How to weave a famous historical figure into fiction
  • Crafting rich supporting characters in a road trip story (when they only get a scene or two)
  • Why it’s important to represent real people accurately in your novel
  • Using setting to develop characters and share history

Check out Episode 215 of diyMFA Radio for our discussion here, and be sure to browse all the wonderful resources on the diyMFA site!

The Amelia Earhart Festival

On July 21, I was thrilled to be a part of the Amelia Earhart Festival–the annual celebration of her birthday in her birthplace of Atchison, Kansas. Readers of The Last Grand Adventure will know what a significant place Atchison was in Amelia’s (and her sister, Muriel’s) life. For me, it was a place I came to know, and love, through research. This passage from Muriel Earhart Morrissey’s biography of Amelia, Courage Is the Price, shows why:

Midsummer evenings have always been a time of mystic spellbinding for the young. The long August twilights wrought their peculiar magic upon Amelia and me when we were little girls in Atchison. I remember the symphony of summer sounds; the chirping of crickets and of the invisible tree-toads . . . As the last carnation and saffron clouds faded, bats began to dart across the darkening sky, and, as if in defiance of these harbingers of the nightfall, fireflies twinkled in the garden and across the way among the peach and pear trees in the orchard.”

Such a lovely description! How can you read that and not want to write about Atchison in the summertime?

While writing When Audrey Met Alice and Summer of Lost and Found, I was able to visit my settings in person. For The Last Grand Adventure, the closest I’d gotten was Google Earth. So it was incredibly meaningful to see the town for myself, and to meet the warm and welcoming people who live there. And what a weekend to visit–the festival draws in thousands of Earhart experts and enthusiasts and leaders in STEM and aviation fields to celebrate not just Amelia’s birthday but her incredible life and accomplishments. I had a great time sharing my book and also learning so much more about her life and legacy.