Official Publication of AND SOMETIMES Y

Today is July 22, 2013, which means that it is a triple birthday: Julia and the main character of The Howling Vowels, Alexa Stevens, both turn fourteen, and the new volume of Alexa’s adventures (in which you can read about her thirteenth birthday party) is now officially published. And Sometimes Y continues the adventures of the Howling Vowels of Sundog, Minnesota and stands as something brand-new for us: a full-scale mother-daughter writing collaboration. We’re thrilled that it is being also published by Do Life Right, Inc., which published The Howling Vowels in 2011. This new book follows the adventures of Alexa and her four best pals–three years after the conclusion of the first book. It also introduces a new human character and several memorable animal characters.

landj_3Here is a recent photo of us at Olbrich Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin (the city where I studied creative writing), and here is a link to an interview on YouTube in which we talk about the process of working together:
(To view the video, click HERE or click on the Doing Life Right image below):

Doing Collaboration Right You Tube

And Sometimes Y Front CoverHowling Vowels cover

The Howling Vowels and And Sometimes Y have been compared to modern Little House books and to the Minnesota stories of Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace set in Mankato a hundred years ago. While thoroughly modern, the Sundog books do offer a vivid picture of an individual family, set in a strongly knit community, in a world where nature’s presence is part of the story. Homeschooled, brimming with questions, ready for fun, and profoundly gifted with verbal dexterity, Alexa continues to struggle to with the challenges of expressing her own authenticity while accepting others for who they are–and who they are becoming.

As you can see from the cover, this new book also includes numerous illustrations by Heather Newman. We don’t quite know how she did it, but she captured how each familiar character has grown and changed, and she knew even better than we did what the new character, Yves, looks like. She also provides an updated map of Sundog, Minnesota (which bears a striking resemblance to Northfield) that highlights key sites in the action.

The Kindle version is available later today on Amazon. In a week or so, paperback copies will be available, too. (We’re looking forward to having them in our hands!) These can also be ordered next week from Amazon; Monkey See, Monkey Read in Northfield; Do Life Right, Inc., or here (for a signed and personalized copy.). And, by this fall, the story will be available as a downloadable audio book read by actress Kerri Wagner. And stay tuned for details, because we’ll be giving away a free Kindle version of The Howling Vowels very soon!

[Update 7/24/13 – The Kindle and paperback versions of And Sometimes Y are now available on]

For more information, or to obtain a signed copy, contact us at (

And please feel free to send this to anyone you think might like to see it! Thanks!Signature2

JJM Braulick signature

A Sneak Peek at our New Book – And Sometimes Y


Julia and I are super-excited to learn that our new book, And Sometimes Y, will be published by Do Life Right, Inc. by the end of the summer! This book follows the adventures of the characters of The Howling Vowels— Alexa and her four best pals–three years after the conclusion of that book. It also introduces a new human character and several memorable animal characters.

We haven’t seen all of the illustrations yet, but knowing Heather Newman’s work, we know that they will be amazing. Here is a sneak peek: the cover and the first chapter. Stay tuned!

Leslie and Julia







Click HERE or on the image below to read Chapter 1 of And Sometimes Y.

And Sometimes Y Front Cover

 Other News

MailboxThanks to everyone who has inquired about Peanut’s health. Despite the hairline fracture he sustained on May 21, he is recovering very quickly. (In fact, we are hard-pressed to keep him from jumping up and down onto furniture.)  He will be x-rayed next week and, with luck, will be able to ditch the splint and pressure bandages (and the clear plastic bootie, handily fashioned from an IV bag and strip of gauze, which he has to wear whenever he goes outside.) The vet’s office made him this duck decal as a Clean Bandage Award!

Way to go, Peanut!

Peanut with Cast Closeup