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Author's Alley
Welcome to

MASL Author's Alley

Here, authors have the opportunity to present new titles to Libraries across the state of Missouri.


Please note that there is a $250 per year charge for author information to be listed in the Author's Alley, and that the information will not be added until the payment has been received.

The Missouri Connection: Profiles of the Famous and Infamous


This illustrated publication contains more than fifty short multicultural biographies of notable men and women who resided in Missouri. These individuals made important contributions to the development of our state and to our nation. Written to supplement the required curriculum for Missouri history studies, this book is suitable for grades four and up.

Visit Phyllis Appel's Website.



Biography of famous Missourian, Joyce Clyde Hall,

Founder of Hallmark Cards



Book Includes: the biography of Mr. Hall, glossary terms, discussion questions, creative work for students, supportive material for the classroom teacher, standards, and benchmarks. Suitable for students 4-8 grades.

Visit Margaret Benedict's Website


Old Shack Mystery

Twelve-year-old cousins Jo and Maggie plunge deep into a mystery when they enter an old, abandoned shack on the family farm and find a scrap of paper that says, "I hid the ten thous..." When two neighbor boys show up to join the hunt the competition is on. Who will find the treasure first? The surprising climax ties into Civil War history, which has been a hit with young readers.

Old Shack Mystery, #1 in the Century Farm series, is set in rural southwest Missouri where the author lives, which is also reminiscent of her childhood home in Texas County. The book, planned for 8-13 year-olds, has captured the interest of older teens, too. Visit LeAnn Campbell's website. Other books in the series are Secret Passage Mystery, and soon to be published Hidden Gold Mystery and Secret Code Mystery. All tie in to Civil War history.

Secret Passage Mystery


Twelve-year-old cousins Jo and Maggie discover a secret passage under a shack in the woods in Missouri. When their pets, Tiger and Stinky, fall through a trapdoor, the girls have to enter the dark, musty passageway. What they discover will send Jo and Maggie on a thrilling hunt to find out if history is truth...or myth. Their hunt leads them to surprising Civil War history in their own woods.

This book, #2 in the Century Farm series, is set in present-day rural southwest Missouri where the author lives. It is suitable for 8-13 year-olds. Visit LeAnn Campbell at her website. Other books in the series are Old Shack Mystery, and soon to be published Hidden Gold Mystery and Secret Code Mystery. All tie in to Civil War history.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Coloring Book

Cheryl Harness’s many award-winning historical picture books, such as Ghosts of the White House (Colorado Children’s Book Award, 2002) and The Groundbreaking, Chance-taking life of GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER (Outstanding Science Trade Book for Young People, NCSS/CBC, 2008), are known for lively writing and detailed illustrations. Her entertaining, informative presentations at schools, literature festivals, and at conferences are known for Cheryl’s humor, the pictures she draws, as well as her ability to engage her audiences. To contact Cheryl; to check out her beautiful new Laura Ingalls Wilder Coloring Book and the new edition of her much-praised novel, Just for You to Know; or to find out more about her books and author presentations, please visit her website at

Tales from Missouri and the Heartland

Get the original book of stories or the new Classroom Edition

Ross Malone is a retired Missouri Studies teacher from Union, Missouri who believes that great teachers use stories to "make the learning stick." He explains that all of the best teachers have taught with parables, fables or stories to increase understanding and retention. One hundred short stories in this book stimulate interest in famous Missourians, places in the state, and events which make The Mother of the West such an interestsing place.

Acclaimed by teachers and placed on the recommended Book List of Missouri Life Magazine, this is enjoyable reading for grade 4 through adult. It's great supplemental reading for the teacher or students who read well.

As a former president of his CTA, president of Franklin County Historical Society, President of the Four Rivers Writers Guild, Teacher Trainer for H-M-H Publishing, and much more, Ross is an experienced speaker and storyteller. He loves to visit schools and conduct workshops for teachers and librarians. To arrange a workshop on Using Stories to Increase Retention, contact Ross through his website at

Rachel Neumeier started writing fiction to relax when she was a graduate student. She has since used her master's in biologyonly in subtle, tangential ways, but her writing has taken over her life! Rachel lives an hour south of St. Louis. She works for a tutoring programat a local community college, but spends most of her time with a laptopand a variable number of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Rachel has written two YA fantasy novels, The City in the Lake (2008,Knopf) and The Floating Islands (2011, Knopf). She is also the author ofseveral adult fantasies, including The Griffin Mage Trilogy (2010) and
House of Shadows (coming in 2012).

Rachel would be happy to speak at any school or event in the St. Louis orCape Girardeau areas -- contact her at her

The Floating Islands

Coming out in February 2011,The Floating Islandswas chosen as a Fall 2010 Selection by the Junior Library Guild. The Floating Islands also received a starred review from Kirkus --

Intelligent, richly detailed fantasy featuring two young cousins battered by losses, personal passions and larger events. Shy, inarticulate, recently orphaned and newly arrived in the aptly named Floating Islands, Trei is transformed by the rare chance to strap on a pair of feathered wings and join the legendary corps of soaring kajuraihi . For his fiercely intense cousin Araene, constraints on women are but annoying obstacles to be overcome in pursuing first the forbidden (to women) culinary arts and then the magical abilities that well up in her, all unbidden, in the wake of a family tragedy of her own. The arrival of an expanding empire's invasion fleet, augmented by a new, mechanically powered magic, propels Trei and Araene into actions that test their courage, loyalties and cleverness to the utmost. The author delineates complex characters, geographies and societies alike with a dab hand, deftly weaves them all—along with dragons of several sorts, mouthwatering kitchen talk, flashes of humor and a late-blooming romance—into a suspenseful plot and delivers an outstanding tale that is self-contained but full of promise for sequels. (Fantasy. 12-14)

The City in the Lake

Coming out in paperback in March 2011,The City in the Lakereceived a starred review from Booklist –

The City in the Lake is a robust, prosperous kingdom until Prince Cassiel vanishes. Beloved by all, the prince represents the kingdom’s heart, and after his disappearance, life withers throughout the land. In a remote village, 17-year-old Timou’s father, a mage, departs for the city to search for the source of the kingdom’s malaise, and when he doesn’t return, Timou sets off after him. Her journey requires her, for the first time, to draw heavily on her own mage training, and as she circles closer to the kingdom’s mysteries, she finds shocking personal connections and, ultimately, love. Neumeier structures her story around archetypal fantasy elements: mages, magic, and a protagonist whose perilous quest serves as her coming-of-age. It’s the poetic, shimmering language and fascinating unfolding of worlds that elevates this engrossing story beyond its formula. Layered within each other, the discovered kingdoms pulse with enchantments and ancient laws, and Neumeier’s language is particularly poetic in describing her characters’ ever-shifting forms, whether shattered planes of light to ethereal columns of smoke. Fans of Sharon Shinn’s books will find a similar celebration of the natural world—from the dense darkness of a forest to the "crystalline music” of the stars—in this vividly imagined debut. Grades 8-11.

The Griffin Mage Trilogy

(2010, from Orbit)

Book I: Lord of the Changing Winds

Little ever happens in the quiet villages of peaceful Feierabiand. The course of Kes’ life seems set: she’ll grow up to be an herb woman and healer for her village, never quite fitting in but always more or less accepted. And she’s content with that path – or thinks she is. Until the day the griffins come down from the mountains, bringing with them the fiery wind of their desert and a desperate need for a healer. But what the griffins need is a healer who is not quite human . . . or a healer who canbe made into something not quite human.

Book II: Land of the Burning Sands

Gereint of Casmantium knows little and cares less about the recent war in which his king tried to use griffins and fire to wrest territory from the neighboring country of Feierabiand...but he knows that his kingdom's unexpected defeat offers him a chance to escape from his own servitude. But now that the griffins find themselves in a position of strength, they are not inclined to forgive and the entire kingdom finds itself in deadly peril. Willing or not, Gereint will find himself caught up in a desperate struggle between the griffins and the last remaining Casmantian mage. Even the strongest gifts of making and building may not prove sufficient when the fiery wind of the griffins begins to bury the life of Casmantium beneath the burning sands . . .

Book III: Law of the Broken Earth

Rescued from her uncle’s loveless home by her cousin, young Mienthe finds herself swept effortlessly into happiness. But she discovers a new need to make her own choices and decisions when her cousin also gives shelter and aid to Tan, a man on the run from personal and professional enemies – for it seems that Tan may hold the key to her own strange magical gifts. But when the griffins renew their attack on the lands of men, Mienthe finds herself suddenly responsible not only for protecting Tan from his enemies, but also for the safety of her entire country. Her magical gifts may prove the key . . . if she can only gain enough time to learn to use them. Described by Booklist as a "vivid, satisfying conclusion” to the trilogy.

House of Shadows.

Due out Spring 2012 from Orbit.

HOUSE OF SHADOWSwas a complicated book to write because I started it three times in three different ways with three different protagonists. Then I couldn’t decide which I liked best. I wound up braiding them all together, which worked out beautifully, but makes the book a little hard to describe. I mean . . . what to leave out? I could give this description:

"After their father dies unexpectedly, Nemienne and her seven sisters must find some way to survive — but Nemienne never guessed that she would apprentice herself to a mage, nor that her new master might prove to be a deadly enemy to everything she loves.”

But so much gets left out of that kind of one-sentence description. What about Karah, who joins a keiso house to be trained in all the graceful arts? Or Leilis, cursed by a rival so that she has become literally untouchable? And then there’s Taudde, a sorcerer-bard who slipped illegally into the city to study the magic of the sea and now finds himself drowning not in the waves but in political intrigue . . .

What REALLY Happened to Humpty?

Jeanie Franz Ransom is an award-winning picture-book author and former elementary school counselor from St. Louis, Missouri. Her newest book, What REALLY Happened to Humpty?, is on the 2010 Children's Choices list.(co-sponsored by the International Reading Association and Children's book Council), and received a starred review in Booklist as well as positive reviews in School Library Journal, and Kirkus.

Jeanie's other books include What Do Parents Do? (When You're Not Home), (2008 Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List; Children's Book Committee's "Best Children's Books of the Year"); Don't Squeal Unless It's a Big Deal: A Tale of Tattletales (iParenting Media award winner); Grandma U (Storytelling World's "Best Read-Aloud Book for Adults"); and I Don't Want to Talk About It: A Story About Divorce for Young Children (Best Children's Resource, Today's Librarian).

Jeanie enjoys speaking at schools and libraries, and her combined author/school counselor experience makes her a qualified speaker who knows how to engage students and keep them interested. She's also presented at conferences and children's literature festivals.

To contact Jeanie or to find out more about her books and author presentations, please visit her website:

The Lucky Star


Judy Young is the award-winning author of children's poetry, fiction and nonfiction books. The Lucky Star is a 2010/2011 Show Me Award Nominee, Minnow and Rose won the 2010 Storytelling World Award and R is for Rhyme, A Poetry Alphabet won the 2008 Mom's Choice Gold Award and 2008 Educator's Choice Award. Many are familiar with Judy's first book, S is for Show Me, A Missouri Alphabet and it's companion, Show Me the Number, A Missouri Number Book. Judy visits schools nationwide with a variety of programs for students K-8. She is also a frequent speaker at professional educational conferences. She would love to speak at your school or event! You can read about all Judy's books, student programs and educator programs, as well as contact her, at

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