At just about every event or school visit I do, someone will ask, "Which Explorer Academy book is your favorite?" I usually respond that it's the book I am writing at the moment and it's true; whatever project you are, currently, pouring your heart into is the one that means the most. Even so, Book Five: THE TIGER'S NEST is one of my favorites of the Explorer Academy universe, and I'm pleased to share that today, it comes out in paperback!
So what is it about THE TIGER'S NEST that I love so much? In this installment of the series, Cruz, the main character, reaches an important turning point. Up until now, he has been following his mom's instructions, searching for the pieces of a secret formula she has hidden around the world for him to find. He has diligently done his duty, yet has not seriously contemplated just what that means. A couple of big events occur in this book - I don't want to give too much away - but for the first time, Cruz begins to truly grasp his mother's legacy. In doing so, he must also consider his own. What kind of future does he want? Cruz must also come to terms with life. And death. While I was writing this book, my dad passed away. Many of the issues I faced mirrored those of Cruz. Some writers struggle with creativity during difficult times but for me the opposite is usually true. Oh, sure, I had my share of challenging days, however, overall, I found entering Cruz's world lifted the heavy burden of my own. I cried with Cruz when he lost someone close to him. And I like to think he cried with me when my dad died. Writing has always been my safe harbor in the storm and THE TIGER'S NEST certainly helped me weather one of the most difficult hurricanes of my life. Maybe writing does that for you, too? Anyway, that's why this title tops my list of favorite written works and probably always will.
Happy reading (and writing)!