Get a Signed Copy of ATTACK OF THE KILLER KOMODOS

Want a signed copy of my next book, ATTACK OF THE KILLER KOMODOS? Here’s how: I’m sending signed bookplates and a wilderness-themed sticker to everyone who pre-orders a copy. All you have to do to claim your freebies is fill out this quick form: https://tinyurl.com/3d9254zr

I’ll also be signing copies in person at Interabang Books in Dallas at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 14 (https://tinyurl.com/25mtcu5p) and Best of Books in Edmond, OK at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16 (https://tinyurl.com/56c6wyap). If you’re in the area, I’d love to see you there. PLUS, I just ordered some sure-to-be-delicious Komodo dragon sugar cookies for the party!

ATTACK OF THE KILLER KOMODOS is perfect for 4th-7th graders who love mystery, sci-fi, or adventure books.

More about ATTACK OF THE KILLER KOMODOS:

This exciting second book in the Maggie and Nate Mystery series follows the friends to Yellowstone National Park where they must track down a deadly creature amidst a series of natural disasters.

Having rescued her town from zombifying mutant mushrooms, eleven-year-old Magnolia Stone is ready for her next adventure! Maggie and her best friend, Nate, head to Yellowstone National Park to visit Maggie’s park ranger dad. But when the kids bump into a rogue Komodo dragon, a dangerous predator that shouldn’t even be in the park, and a major earthquake leaves Maggie and Nate stranded, they set off to figure out what’s going on and to reunite Maggie’s family once again. 

While Maggie comes up with scientific solutions as they battle earthquakes, landslides, wolves, and other unusual creatures, Nate focuses on conspiracy theories and getting stellar footage for his YouTube channel. But only by combining their skills will they have any hope of saving Yellowstone or each other.”

Pre-order links:

Interabang Books: https://www.interabangbooks.com/book/9781534468689

Best of Books: https://www.bestofbooksok.com/book/9781534468689

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1534468684?tag=simonsayscom

Simon & Schuster: https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Attack-of-the-Killer-Komodos/Summer-Rachel-Short/A-Maggie-and-Nate-Mystery/9781534468689

Pre-order Giveaways for Attack of the Killer Komodos

IT’S GIVEAWAY TIME! Everyone who pre-orders Attack of the Killer Komodos will receive a high-res download of this gorgeous Komodo dragon art by Christie Renfro. (My picture doesn’t do it justice!) On top of that, you’ll be entered to win the Grand Prize which includes: a Komodo dragon figurine, The Ultimate Survival Guide for Kids, two paracord survival bracelets, outdoorsy stickers, plus a signed nameplate to affix to your hardback copy when it arrives.

To Enter: Pre-order Attack of the Killer Komodos (available anywhere books are sold), then fill out this form: (it’s super quick!) https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLScnvpnpHyTLUb…/viewform

You’ll be emailed the Komodo dragon art and will also be entered into the drawing for the Grand Prize.

Giveaway ends April 30 @ 5 PM CST, US Only

Summary of Attack of the Killer Komodos:

This exciting second book in the Maggie and Nate Mystery series follows the friends to Yellowstone National Park where they must track down a deadly creature amidst a series of natural disasters.

Having rescued her town from zombifying mutant mushrooms, eleven-year-old Magnolia Stone is ready for her next adventure! Maggie and her best friend, Nate, head to Yellowstone National Park to visit Maggie’s park ranger dad. But when the kids bump into a rogue Komodo dragon, a dangerous predator that shouldn’t even be in the park, and a major earthquake leaves Maggie and Nate stranded, they set off to figure out what’s going on and to reunite Maggie’s family once again. 

While Maggie comes up with scientific solutions as they battle earthquakes, landslides, wolves, and other unusual creatures, Nate focuses on conspiracy theories and getting stellar footage for his YouTube channel. But only by combining their skills will they have any hope of saving Yellowstone or each other.

Perfect for kids 8-12 who love mystery, adventure, and weird nature. Coming 9/14/21 from Simon & Schuster, Books for Young Readers.

Attack of the Killer Komodos ARCs!

The Advanced Reader Copies for Attack of the Killer Komodos just showed up on my doorstep! Squee! 🦎 ARCs are sent out in advance to book reviewers, librarians, and bloggers to help get the word out about new books. They’re a fun step in the publication process, and I’m thrilled to have received my box from Simon & Schuster. The real deal version of Attack of the Killer Komodos releases Sept. 14, 2021 and will be a hardback (not paperback like the ARCs).

About Attack of the Killer Komodos:

Perfect for fans of Stranger Things and The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl, this exciting second book in the Maggie and Nate Mystery series follows the friends to Yellowstone National Park where they must track down a deadly creature amidst a series of natural disasters.

Having rescued her town from zombifying mutant mushrooms, eleven-year-old Magnolia Stone is ready for her next adventure! Maggie and her best friend, Nate, head to Yellowstone National Park to visit Maggie’s park ranger dad. But when the kids bump into a rogue Komodo dragon, a dangerous predator that shouldn’t even be in the park, and a major earthquake leaves Maggie and Nate stranded, they set off to figure out what’s going on and to reunite Maggie’s family once again.

While Maggie comes up with scientific solutions as they battle earthquakes, landslides, wolves, and other unusual creatures, Nate focuses on conspiracy theories and getting stellar footage for his YouTube channel. But only by combining their skills will they have any hope of saving Yellowstone or each other.

Check out that erupting geyser!

Perfect for 8-12 year olds who love mystery, adventure, and weird nature! You can pre-order your copy of Attack of the Killer Komodos at: https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Attack-of-the-Killer-Komodos/Summer-Rachel-Short/A-Maggie-and-Nate-Mystery/9781534468689

Mutant Cornstalks and Zombie Ants

Once upon a time, I was perusing the internet and stumbled upon a documentary about the strange habits of fungi. This led to the discovery of a particularly sinister variety: Ophiocordyceps, AKA the Zombie Ant Fungus. If you are terribly squeamish, this might be a good time to cover your eyes with one hand and shriek.

Behold the horror of a carpenter ant infected by Ophiocordyceps.
KATJA SCHULZ / FLICKR

While zombies are a staple in sci-fi movies, this parasitic species is the real deal and was a major inspiration for The Mutant Mushroom Takeover. Carpenter ants infected by Ophiocordyceps grow hideously ugly stalks from the back of their little heads. These fungal stalks seize control of the ants’ nervous systems, and force the poor ants to bite down on a leaf near their colony. After that, the bulb at the top of the stalk bursts and rains down infectious spores on the rest of the colony, making legions more zombies in one fell swoop. Insidious, right? I thought so too and wondered what it would be like if Ophiocordyceps didn’t just infect ants, but an entire town. One question led to another and thus The Mutant Mushroom Takeover was born.

Nature can be creepy but it’s also brimming with wonder and curiosity-inspiring morsels. And sometimes they’re one in the same.

Today, my kids drew some art inspired by The Mutant Mushroom Takeover. I particularly love the mutant cornstalk my daughter added and the spores raining down over a town drawn by my son. These are rough times, people.

When Ophiocordyceps comes to visit, even the butterflies can’t be trusted.
The mushroom apocalypse is upon us.

You can find out more about the Zombie Ant fungus here or grab a copy of The Mutant Mushroom Takeover to see what happens when it attacks a small town and the last line of defense is an 11-year-old aspiring naturalist and her YouTuber and alien conspiracy theorist best friend. You’ll never see mushrooms the same way again!

Pre-order Attack of the Killer Komodos!

ATTACK OF THE KILLER KOMODOS, The sequel to The Mutant Mushroom Takeover, is now available for pre-order! This next Maggie and Nate Mystery is set in Yellowstone National Park and features more adventure, humor, real science, and strange creatures including some very unusual Komodo dragons. Attack of the Killer Komodos releases on Sept. 14, 2021 and when you pre-order, the book will arrive in your mailbox on (or sometimes even before!) publishing day!

Pre-orders are super important for new authors. They let book buyers, like Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and your local independent bookstores know that there’s interest in a title. Without pre-orders, bookstores aren’t as likely to stock copies of a book.

If you or your kids enjoyed the first book in the series, I think you’ll love this next story. It’s a brand new mystery with some of the same characters and a few new ones. (And if you haven’t read The Mutant Mushroom Takeover yet, there’s still time!) Here’s a quick synopsis of Attack of the Killer Komodos:

“Having rescued her town from zombifying mutant mushrooms, eleven-year-old Magnolia Stone is ready for her next adventure! Maggie and her best friend, Nate, head to Yellowstone National Park to visit Maggie’s park ranger dad. But when the kids bump into a rogue Komodo dragon, a dangerous predator that shouldn’t even be in the park, and a major earthquake leaves Maggie and Nate stranded, they set off to figure out what’s going on and to reunite Maggie’s family once again. 

While Maggie comes up with scientific solutions as they battle earthquakes, landslides, wolves, and other unusual creatures, Nate focuses on conspiracy theories and getting stellar footage for his YouTube channel. But only by combining their skills will they have any hope of saving Yellowstone or each other.”

Thanks so much for all your support!

https://www.interabangbooks.com/book/978153446868

https://bookshop.org/books/attack-of-the-killer-komodos/9781534468689

Reading the West Book Awards!

I’m so excited that The Mutant Mushroom Takeover is nominated for a Reading the West Book Award!

The Reading the West Book Awards are sponsored by the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association and honor the best books set in one of the states represented by the association, or created by an author in the region.

The Mutant Mushroom Takeover is set in the fictional town of Shady Pines, Texas and is inspired by the piney woods region of East Texas where I spent my earliest years.

Some of my first memories involve way too many daddy long leg spiders in a neighbor’s bathtub and a rattlesnake on our front porch. Maybe that’s why spiders and at least one snake make a cameo in The Mutant Mushroom Takeover!

Attack of the Killer Komodos Cover Reveal!

Drum roll, please…

I’m delighted to share the cover for my next book, Attack of the Killer Komodos! This is the sequel to The Mutant Mushroom Takeover and features a brand new Maggie and Nate mystery, this time in Yellowstone National Park. The designers at DKNG Studios did an amazing job and I love what they created! 

A little more about the book:

Having rescued her town from zombifying mutant mushrooms, eleven-year-old Magnolia Stone is ready for her next adventure! Maggie and her best friend Nate head to Yellowstone National Park to visit Maggie’s park ranger dad. But when the kids bump into a rogue Komodo dragon, a dangerous predator that shouldn’t even be in the park, and a major earthquake separates them from Maggie’s dad, Maggie and Nate must set off alone to find him. On the way, they battle more earthquakes, landslides, wolves, and other unusual creatures. While Maggie comes up with scientific solutions to their troubles, Nate focuses on conspiracy theories and getting stellar footage for his YouTube channel. But only by combining their skills, will they have any hope of saving each other or the park. 

Attack of the Killer Komodos releases from Simon & Schuster this fall. Stay tuned for pre-order links and an Advanced Reader Copy giveaway!

Recent Reviews for The Mutant Mushroom Takeover

The Mutant Mushroom Takeover has been featured on several blogs lately so I thought I’d do a little round up of the reviews. Below are highlights and links! Also, keep your eyes peeled for the cover reveal of Book Two coming next week! The designers did an amazing job and I can’t wait to show you!

Blurbs about TMMT:

“It’s science at its best, with a compelling mystery, adorable characters, funny banter, and more of a “something’s in the woods” type of a horror feel. And I loved it!” – The Bookwyrm’s Den

https://thebookwyrmsden.com/2021/01/18/the-mutant-mushroom-takeover-by-summer-rachel-short/?fbclid=IwAR3DaMiG2-JSjRcN5yaKgMXPRrn8K4zZURjpcN_shhEUyoV8r_SHYhmPgk8

“This is a great adventure story that kept me turning the pages. The whodunnit aspect made me want to figure out exactly what happened!” – Literacious

“Mystery lurks…and a bit of science, too…in all the right twisty-turny ways to make this one simply a ton of fun to read.” – Bookworm for Kids

http://www.bookwormforkids.com/2020/11/review-mutant-mushroom-takeover-by.html

“Teachers could have a field day with this, tying it to biology and ecology. The cross-discipline potential for using this in the classroom is vast – reading, writing, and science applications. Hand this to fans of Goosebumps, science fiction, mysteries, and zombie stories as well as kids who love hard science.” – Neverending TBR