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Updated: Oct 17, 2019

Now you can join the adventure just like Cruz and his friends at Explorer Academy! National Geographic has recently opened its first Ultimate Explorer Amusement Center, though you'll have to travel to China to get in on the fun!

The new immersive entertainment center is located at the K11 Artmall in Shenyang, China. From blasting off into outer space to diving to the ocean floor, visitors can follow in the footsteps of the real explorers of National Geographic. With each mission, visitors will earn badges, as they learn more about our natural world and the challenges we face.


There are twenty different missions, in all. My favorite just might be the Safari Speedway, where you can race a virtual cheetah the way Cruz does in the obstacle course in The Nebula Secret. Of course, I'm also partial to the Tomb of the Ancients. Here, visitors will get an archaeology lesson from Cruz's Aunt Marisol, a professor at Explorer Academy!


More entertainment centers are planned for Italy, Mexico, and Kuwait. Fingers crossed that the U.S. gets one, too!


Head to the website to learn more: https://www.ngux.com.cn/en/experiences/

All images copyright National Geographic, 2019

Updated: Jul 16, 2019

Visiting students is one of the perks of being a writer! As you can see, I had a fantastic welcome from students at Altimira and Adele Harrison middle schools as part of Authors' Day at the Sonoma Valley Authors Festival.

At both assemblies, I chatted about my path to being a writer, some of the challenges I've overcome to reach my goals (like terrible vision) and how I do my research for a fun, action-packed adventure series like Explorer Academy.


Thanks to the Bank of Marin's sponsorship, every student received a complimentary signed copy of The Nebula Secret, the first book in my series - that added up to 1,000 books! It was truly an honor for me to be part of this exciting festival, especially since it was also the first time they included a middle grade writer in the line-up.


Of course, like all book lovers, authors have favorite authors, too. While at the festival, I got a chance to meet one of mine: Tom Brokaw. What a treat to hear this inspirational journalist speak and get a copy of his new book!


This spring, I've been traveling the country sharing news of the release of the second book in the Explorer Academy series: The Falcon's Feather. It was a big thrill to have National Geographic explorer and deep-sea submarine pilot, Erika Bergman, join me for the tour. 


We began in Seattle with Emerald City Comic Con, then headed to Chicago, Minneapolis, and, finally, San Francisco, visiting schools and booksellers along the way. We even got the chance to stop in and visit the morning TV news crews in Chicago and Minneapolis, which was great fun! Checks out our interview on WCCO (ABC) in Minneapolis!

Erika and I visiting Good Day Chicago to talk about Explorer Academy!


Signing books with Erika Bergman at a school in Chicago!

Having some fun at Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle!

Look for me at a bookstore or school near you this fall with the third book in the series, The Double Helix!