Authorpreneur Dashboard – karen Marie Bourgeois

karen Marie Bourgeois

Beyond Locker 101

Children's Books

Wyatt Leadbottom resides in a wacky town with an even more peculiar middle school.

A spelling test that features the word ‘forlorn,’ and no one knows who ‘Lorne’ is; an art class where the kids paint flavor into fruit, and in science, one student’s hair grows out of control after drinking a potion given to her by the vampire teacher. In choir, a soloist makes ribbons of music with every rainbow color. And finally, spirit animals are assigned in the library.

Mrs. Byrd is missing. Folks think she left town without selling her house or packing her things, but she wants to sing all day. Then there’s the mystery of Naomi Stone and Mrs. Plantz. (Do you see a theme here?)

But a locker near Wyatt’s is left open, and despite his fear, his curiosity leads him into the reflection of the school, where everything is backward. Locker 101 is a palindrome, and that’s why it connects both worlds.

Strange things happen in the reflection, but Wyatt stands firm. He wants to figure this out, and with his twin sister, being much braver, the two find the terrible Snoodraggle that lives there and discovers he’s not so terrible after all.

When Wyatt figures out that everyone’s last name determines the thing they turn into, one mystery is solved. The cardinal is Mrs. Byrd, Naomi Stone is just that, and Mrs. Plantz becomes a Ficus tree. Wyatt is beside himself, waiting for his bottom to turn into lead.

Every time someone goes into the reflection, a duplicate is created. Consequently, the mystery of Locker 101 is solved, and the copies come out, along with the Snoodraggle and Mrs. Byrd. They live happily in Mrs. Byrd’s house, where the marshmallow diet of the Snoodraggle is replaced with vegetables. The group decorates the house with Mrs. Plantz (Ficus tree), and Wyatt finally fits in.

Book Bubbles from Beyond Locker 101

Spelling Test

On the first day of school in the very first class, in the first bit of time Wyatt has a spelling test. When one of the words is "hear," Trevor wants Mrs. Plantz to use it in a sentence. She uses the sentence, "I can't hear you." So, Trevor talks louder. Every word is either misheard, or something the children don't understand. "Forlorn" is given, but nobody knows who Lorne is. Mrs. Plantz has a list of naughty children on the board, and if a child gets fifty checkmarks, she breaks all of their pencils, and they have to write with their noses.

Cotton Candy Sky


Bella wants to leave her family of origin for a better life, so at age fifteen, she gets a professional involved to hear her story. A judge will decide through the therapist’s recommendation Bella’s custody.

Roxanne, Bella’s Mama, proves to be a horrible mother - leaving Bella alone in the blistering hot trailer, forgetting Bella’s birthday, starving her, and making her sleep outside where snakes and coyotes could get her.

Bella wants to live with the nurse who regularly checks in on them - Alice. When Bella lets it slip that she stays in the car while Roxanne frequents a bar (where she meets homeless man Kevin), Alice demands that Roxanne give up the bar scene. Unfortunately, Roxanne won’t do that, but she has an idea - Bella will live with Alice. They have a contract to detail the arrangement, and Bella is ecstatic.

Puzzle competitions are Bella’s only escape into the real world, where she shines, winning all but one contest. But Alice has a fit when Roxanne’s newest boyfriend (Carl) steals her winnings by putting the money into a stock portfolio in his own name. Tired of listening to Alice complain, Roxanne makes Bella return to the trailer with orders never to speak to Alice again.

A competition in New Orleans leads to Bella’s second loss. Carl ends up angry when there is no money and leaves them. Soon afterward, it is discovered that the winner has cheated, and Bella wins. The money is put into a bank account that Bella owns.

Like a cockroach crawling out of hiding, Carl returns. He lies about the stock account and manipulates Bella into taking the money out of her savings. Bella does that because she thinks Roxanne will be happy.

Bella’s life is a wreck. She has nothing to show for her hard work, talent, and practice. She takes her nervous energy out by cleaning the trailer and removing the clutter. She flexes her muscles by standing up to Roxanne, then has an anxiety attack. Her frustration leads her to seek out Alice; she arrives very late.

Something triggers Bella, and she runs to her best friend’s house and stands there crying, wondering what to do next. Finally, she goes home, confused and broken.

The national tournament in NYC will be her last if she has a say. She’s only fifteen but competes with seventeen and eighteen-year-olds for $100,000. Carl thinks he will get the money, but when Bella wins, the money is put into a trust fund and will be available to the winner when they turn eighteen.

Drunken Roxanne sees a snake about to be eaten by a cat in the clouds, but all Bella can see are puzzle pieces. Roxanne has two surprises for Bella – good and bad news. The good news is that she and Carl got married, and they will work on the adoption paperwork later, but Bella sees that as bad news. The even worse information is that Carl’s investments have failed, and the portfolio is worthless.

Finally putting her foot down, Bella tells Roxanne she’s done with puzzle competitions.
At the bar, Carl and Roxanne get into an argument and leave. At the same time, Bella and Alice go shopping. When Bella returns home, she is told by the police that her Mama was hit by a train and died.

The psychologist has to reconsider the new information. Roxanne’s lack of mothering skills no longer matters, and since Carl officially adopted her, she has to go by the law. The judge declares that Bella must stay with Carl.

But Bella is suspicious. She knows that Carl is terrified of zombies. So with pale skin already, she uses makeup and a wig to look like dead Roxanne and draws on Carl’s fear. But when that fails, Bella gets the doctor, Katrina, involved.

When Carl is severely drunk, they try the zombie trick again. This time Katrina flirts with Carl, claiming she can’t see what he’s talking about, and with a hidden recorder, she gets him to admit to the murder.

Bella finally gets to live the life she wants. As Roxanne foresaw in the clouds: the kat ate the snake.


Book Bubbles from Cotton Candy Sky

Homless man

Bella is three and left alone in the car while Mama boozesit up in the bar. A homeless man slinks out of the forest and to the car. He offers Bella chocolate, but he is a stranger, so Bella doesn't speak. She remembers Alice saying, "Don't talk to strangers." She didn't say anything about not going with them and Bella is hungry. The nice man takes her by the hand, and they go into the woods where a bar of chocolate awaits.

Blurry Around the Edges

Children's Books

Blurry Around the Edges

Emmaline is blamed for something Jane Doe has done and is sent to the principal’s office, terrified and angry. The principal wants to bring in one of her parents but they both have jobs and can’t get away. Emmaline suggests one of her brothers – Aaron. He is her favorite, but the principal says ‘no’ and phones her dad.

She meets Hannah when they both go for the same swing and become best friends. Hannah even invites Emmaline to her house, and Emmaline is thrilled to find out that Hannah has a puppy and a treehouse where they eventually declare themselves sisters.

When Jane Doe, the bully, teases Emmaline for having red hair, Emmaline can name several famous people with red hair. When Jane confronts Emmaline about having freckles, Emmaline shows her the constellation Orion on her arm. Then there’s Emmaline’s shortness and buying store brand items. Emmaline is always supported by her classmates when they use hair chalk to make themselves redheads and use various media to make freckles.

Emmaline has four big brothers and would happily give one to Hannah, who is an only child. With a big family, the Modesties take turns cooking since there are seven people and seven days of the week. When it’s Emmaline’s turn, she makes chili and confuses the salt measurement with the chili powder. They end up tossing the batch.

Another bump in the road occurs when Emmaline’s Principal tells her parents that Emmaline has ADHD. She has a few months to improve her performance, or she’ll have to repeat the fifth grade. She enlists the help of the genius in the wheelchair two floors below to help her. She has until February.

At the same time, Emmaline discovers she loves classical music and has a talent for the piano. Though she’s never played the piano before, she loves everything about it. Music makes her concentrate, and that’s what she needs. In fact, the genius, Colvin, makes the piano a reward for her, an incentive to get her homework done. So, she wants to have as much time as possible on the piano.

Emmaline’s family take turns discussing their day during dinner, and since Emmaline is the youngest, she is always last. By then, dinner is over, and the family members are anxious to get on with their night. They never hear Emmaline. They never see Emmaline. She is a blur.

All solved by the end of the novel are the bullying, repeating the fifth grade, and finally, being heard by her family, which is the greatest thing of all.

Book Bubbles from Blurry Around the Edges


Freadore can't pronounce his own name, but he can count to three... or free. When Emmaline thinks he might be the thief, it ends being a misunderstanding because he's four-years-old and has trouble speaking.

The Trouble With Rover

Children's Books

Rover's travels start out cute and harmless. He never crosses the street, but when his habit escalates, he moves on to cars and buses then sailing and hot air balloons. Rover stows away on airplanes and a rocket ship that earns him a parade. (NASA takes credit).

What is Meg supposed to do? She finally renames him Barry, because with a name like Rover, one has to roam.

Book Bubbles from The Trouble With Rover

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