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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Welcome Back Guest Author Penny Ehrenkranz (Penny Lockwood) Part One

I have known Penny Ehrenkranz for years and she was interviewed on this blog five years ago for her book. Now she is on this blog again to talk about her new series: Ghostly Visions from 4RV Publishing. If you want to know more about her you can read this interview from February 6, 2011.

I will be talking with Penny about Ghostly Visions, which is made up of two books: Ghost for Rent, which she published a few years earlier and Ghost for Lunch. First I had the pleasure of reading Ghostly Visions. Here is the blurb and my review. Penny will be here very soon. Meanwhile, enjoy learning more about her books. 

Blurb for Ghost for Rent:

This young adult, paranormal, ghost story is aimed at youth in grades four to six. The story begins when eleven year old Wendy Wiles learns her parents are planning to get divorced.  Forced to leave her beloved city home for a cheaper country place, Wendy, her mother, and her twelve year old brother move to rural Warren, Oregon.
    On move-in day, Wendy meets a neighbor girl who tells her their quaint country home is haunted.  Events proceed quickly as Wendy, her new friend, Jennifer, and Wendy's brother, Mike, see ghostly figures dancing in the woods.  Despite Mom's claims that "there's no such thing as ghosts," paranormal events continue to occur in the Wiles' home. Meanwhile her brother Mike, arch-tease, continues to torment Wendy, claiming he's causing the unusual happenings.
    Wendy searches through library records to get to the bottom of the mystery.  Finally with Jennifer's help, Wendy begins to unravel the truth. At last even Mike can no longer disbelieve and decides to aid Wendy in her search.  By the end of the story, the three young sleuths have uncovered an accidental death, a suicide and a murder. 

Blurb for Ghost for Lunch:

Wendy Wiles attracts ghosts, first in Ghost for Rent, when her parents separate and she, her brother, and mother move into a haunted house. The mystery of who the ghosts are and why they "live" in the Wiles' home brings answers and a reunited family. In Ghost for Lunch, new neighbors and their restaurant bring new ghosts into Wendy's life, and she, her brother, and their new friend discover the two cases are connected.

My Review for Ghost for Lunch

I had read Ghost for Rent many years ago when it was first published. I thought it was a fun read and that it was perfect for middle grade students. The story moved along and there was a satisfying ending. So I was surprised that not only was there a sequel, but the sequel Ghost for Lunch, is bundled with the original book, Ghost for Rent. I started reading Ghost for Lunch and the familiar characters invited me into the story. If you haven't read the first book it is there for you to read. For anyone who hasn’t read Ghost for Lunch, it takes up where Ghost for Rent ended. Only this time, Wendy’s best friend Jennifer moves to California and is replaced by a new family from California that moves next door. Mike, Wendy’s brother, is thrilled when he finds the family has a boy his age. When Wendy and Mike find out this family has bought an old restaurant in the nearby town that they think is haunted, Wendy is both intrigued and worried remembering her experiences with the ghosts in their old farm house. As the children begin to uncover more secrets about the ghosts who had haunted them in Ghost for Rent, strange things begin to happen in the restaurant leading them to believe that this place is indeed haunted. You can feel her fear as the author brings you into the story. The reader feels how Wendy is feeling as Ms. Lockwood describes the experience as if you were there. As the story progresses you just might believe there really are ghosts. The writing is crisp and clear and aside from the fact that certain things in this book seem a little dated, and there is no real time reference, the story moves along at a fast pace. I would recommend this as an excellent book for grades fourth through sixth.

I give this book 4.5 ghosts


Penny Ehrenkranz Bio:

I was born and raised on the East Coast, in Stamford, Connecticut.  I attended Stamford public schools and graduated from Stamford High School in 1964.  Classmates back then knew me as "Susan Lockwood." After high school, I attended and graduated from business school and also attended community college.
My family and close friends have known me as Penny since before I was born. My brother was enamored of Sky King's niece, Penny.  He asked my parents if they would name me Penny.  My dad wanted to name me after my mother, so my birth certificate says "Susan."  No one called me that, however, and in my mind, "Susan" is my mom, not me.  I am "Penny," and all of my bylines are either Penny Lockwood or Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz.
Like a great number of writers, I knew I wanted to write from the time I was a youngster.  Writing for me has always been easier than talking, and as a child, I spent a lot of time writing letters and crafting stories for my own enjoyment.  I find it somewhat amusing that one of my early stories was "Patty and the Country Ghost," and my first published novel, Ghost for Rent,is the story of a country ghost.
I lived on the East Coast until 1977 when I moved to California and I met my husband.  In 1978, we moved to the Pacific Northwest where we made our home.  We are the proud parents of a son and daughter, both of whom are now happily married. We have two lovely granddaughters, and an adorable grandson. We currently share our rural six acres with two dogs and two cats.  Over the years, in addition to dogs and cats, we've had goats, rabbits, doves, cockatiels, finches, budgies, and a turtle. I spend my "spare" time with my family and friends, gardening, crocheting, and sewing projects. 
I have worked and volunteered for a number of non-profit organizations.  Much of that work is reflected in the non-fiction articles I have written offering advice to both parents and teenagers.  My non-fiction has appeared in parenting, writing, and teen magazines. My fiction leans toward fantasy and soft science fiction, often with a touch of romance,  and has been published in a number of small press genre magazines and online. My children's books have a touch of the paranormal (ghosts), and I have released one picture book with another under contract. I have been writing since I was a child, and if I'm not writing, I'm reading.  I'm pleased to have been published both in print and online.  You can find out more about my books by clicking on the various links on my website.

In addition to my writing, I worked as  an editor with MuseItUp Publishing, Damnation Books LLC/Eternal Press, and  4RV Publishing.  

Until the next time, which will be tomorrow, I hope you will think of someone who would love these books. My next blog will feature Penny's interview so you can learn more about this fascinating author.


  1. Barbara, thanks for the lovely review and for hosting me on your blog. I appreciate he support.

  2. You're welcome, Penny! As I said I really enjoyed the books. You are always welcome on my blog!!


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