Thursday, June 5, 2014

Twelve Days until The Body in the Wood launches

I'm going to be an outlier from this week's topic for a good reason:  I'm just days away from having a new book launch.  Not just a new book, but a whole new series!  The book is called The Body in the Woods, and the series is called Point Last Seen, which is a search and rescue term.

Alexis, Nick, and Ruby have very different backgrounds: Alexis has spent her life covering for her mom’s mental illness, Nick’s bravado hides his fear of not being good enough, and Ruby just wants to pursue her eccentric interests in a world that doesn’t understand her.

When the three teens join Portland County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue, they are teamed up to search for a autistic man lost in the woods. What they find instead is a dead body. In a friendship that will be forged in danger, fear and courage, the three team up to find the girl’s killer—before he can strike one of their own.

I got the idea for the Point Last Seen series  in April 2012 when a friend told us her teen was a volunteer with Multnomah County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue. Not only does MCSO SAR look for people lost in the woods, but they also do crime scene evidence searches and are a teen-led organization. The more I learned, the more I was sure I had found what I had long sought: a realistic premise for a teen mystery series. As I researched and wrote, people in MCSO SAR were so helpful.

The volunteers undergo nearly 300 hours of training. They meet every Wednesday evening as well as do weekend outings once a month. I have gone to trainings with them, most recently a unit on "man tracking," which is what they call it when you follow someone's tracks. It's a real art, and the only clue that someone might have been there can be as small as a broken twig or a few grains of sand on top of a leaf.  (I told folks at my kung fu school that I was learning to man track and another lady said, "Oh, don't worry, honey, I can set you up with somebody!")

You can read more about the book at

Buy a book, get a whistle, support the cause! The book is available at every usual location, but for every copy bought at a Powells or at by June 24, $1.69 will be donated to Mutlnomah County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue.  Buy online before June 18 or in person at the Powells Beaverton event June 18 at 7 pm, and get a free multi-purpose wilderness whistle! (Free while supplies last.)


  1. April,
    I'm really excited about this book and am getting a copy (I think) for Father's Day. After I read it, it will be added to the Hartland (ME) Public Library where it will be beside your last one which I liked very much.

  2. Thank you so much! I've never even been to Maine, although I have a writer friend in the other Portland.

  3. April, what a fascinating idea for a series. Looking forward to checking it out!

  4. Yet another counterexample for people who say teens are spoiled or slackers.

  5. This sounds like an incredible series, April!! What an inspiration for a book. I can't wait to read it!