What better way to escape the summer heat than spending some time with a good book? You certainly won’t have to look far. Three local authors – Val Linn, Collette Cameron and Penny Lockwood – call Columbia County home and all three have new books available.

Boos Bad Day

“Boos Bad Day” by Penny Lockwood

Boo is an adventurous – and somewhat bored – kitten ready to grow up and explore the world. But Boo’s escape into the world shows him sometimes there’s no better, and no safer, place than home.

This picture book is sure to be a delight for parents and youngsters alike and works as a wonderful tool for teaching children about pet care.

Lockwood may be new to children’s books, but she’s certainly not new to writing.

“I started writing professionally in 1993, but before that I had written numerous stories and actually tried submitting them when I was younger,” she said.

After taking some time off from writing, she began writing grant applications for a nonprofit group and then took some creative writing classes. Now, she has published more than 100 articles, along with a chapbook, two stories have been included in two anthologies, and she has written some 75 stories.

When it comes to her writing style, Lockwood says she prefers shorter formats – like those found with children’s picture books – as compared to longer novels.

“I tend to get an idea but I’m not good at plotting or outlining. My longest pieces have been middle-grade novels,” she notes.

Lockwood writes for both adults and children and her work has appeared in parenting and young adult print magazines as well as online publications.

Lockwood will also be the featured author for the Aug. 15 author talk at the St. Helens Public Library, which will be followed by craft time featuring cats (of course!).

“Boo’s Bad Day” is illustrated by Deborah C. Johnson and is published by 4RV Publishing. It is available online at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and ValoreBooks.com.

Rainbow at Midnight

“Rainbow at Midnight” by Val Linn

When Val Linn looks to Scappoose’s future, he isn’t thinking of planning commission debates or city council zoning approvals. Linn is looking further ahead. Actually, it’s much, much further ahead – 500 years in the future to be exact.

“I chose Scappoose because it’s a place I know,” Linn said, noting familiar spots are peppered throughout the book’s storyline. 

This science fiction adventure follows Andrew Hirsch, an engineer cryogenically frozen and brought back to life following a devastating nuclear war. Hirsch finds himself struggling to survive in what has become a primitive and dangerous world.

Linn has been writing many years, primarily as a poet. This is his first venture into the full-length novel format, but he hopes it’s not his last. Linn is planning for “Rainbow at Midnight” to be the first in a series of six or seven books.

“If this does well, we’ll get into the six or seven,” he said.

Like many first-time authors, Linn chose to self-publish, which proved to be a sometimes challenging and sometimes enlightening experience.

“This was published at Lightning Source, which is a really big source, but you don’t hear about it,” he said. “They publish all of the iUniverse books and the Lulu books.”

“Rainbow at Midnight” is available online at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

Highlander's Hope

“Highlander’s Hope” by Collette Cameron

Scappoose may be a world away from Regency-era Scotland but that doesn’t stop Collette Cameron from capturing the sweeping vistas and intrigue of the highlands.

Ewan McTavish, the Viscount Sethwick, dreams of the beautiful woman he danced with two years ago. He's determined to win her heart and make her his. But heiress Yvette Stapleton is certain of one thing; marriage is risky and, therefore, to be avoided. At first, she doesn't recognize the dangerously handsome man who rescues her from assailants on London’s docks, but soon she finds herself reconsidering her cynical views on matrimony.

“I started reading romance novels a long time ago,” said Cameron. “My first Barbara Cartland was when I was 13.”

Cameron may enjoy writing now, but it wasn’t something she was always called to.

“I read romance for years and years and years, and in the back of my mind I thought I would always like to write but it wasn’t going to be romance. I enjoy writing but I wasn’t someone who knew from the age of 10 they wanted to be a writer.”

In 2011, she began writing and “Highlander’s Hope” was born.

Cameron said it took several edits, along with some blood, sweat and tears, to trim the lengthy manuscript down to a workable size.

“Highlander’s Hope” is published by Soul Mate Publishing and is available at Amazon.com.

So whether it’s Linn’s post-apocalyptic visioning of Scappoose, Cameron’s sweeping romantic tale of the Scottish highlands during the Regency era or Lockwood’s delightful children’s tale about a mischievous cat, readers are sure to find a great read and a new favorite author. 


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