I'm excited to share that The Worst Villain Ever will be available sooner than expected! Snowy Wings Publishing will now be publishing The Worst Villain Ever on October 18, 2022!
I can't wait for y'all to meet George!
In celebration of a sooner arrival date, here's a little sneak peek:
Chapter 1: The Letter
George Pruwell peered out from his second-story window, wearing his Mastermind Magnifying Goggles. With those bad boys on, he could see the yellow centers of Mrs. Wutherford’s daisies all the way across the street. But George was far less interested in the daisies than in what would hopefully be his first successful villainous trick.
He zeroed in on the sidewalk and saw nothing. Excellent. He’d hidden the Trip ’Em Stakes on either side of the cement and made sure the wire stretching between them was invisible. He’d perfected an invisible tripwire using Gloss Over-It to make sure he followed rule number one of high villainy: Don’t get caught.
The thought of someone tripping and landing in a glorious spill of flailing limbs and scattered papers should have made George smile with anticipation. Any self-respecting villain would be rubbing his hands together in glee. Perhaps even cackling maniacally. Instead, George felt like he had swallowed a dozen white mice from a mad scientist’s laboratory.
Chewing a thumbnail, he turned his gaze north. Mike Jones was coasting down the sidewalk on his skateboard, as he did every evening. George seriously wished someone else had been a handier victim, but Mike passed this spot like clockwork. Mike always waved at George when they saw each other, even though they had never actually spoken.
George squirmed. Maybe he should just hit the terminate button on his handmade Tripwire Remote. It would wind up the tripwire into one of the hidden Trip ’Em Stakes, clearing the sidewalk in seconds. He could always try tomorrow.
But it would be the third cancelled trick this week, and he so wanted to see one of his tricks finally work. He needed one to work.
Mike’s black skateboard had giant red wheels that flashed as they spun. It was a sweet board, especially for a Regular Public Citizen, or “RPC,” as they were known among villains. George’s skateboard was better, with jets in the back for quick escapes if―no, when!―he became a villain-in-training. He was sure his acceptance letter from the Academy of Villainy and Wrongdoing would come any day now―he was eleven, for villainy’s sake―but landing at least one solid trick would make him feel better about his odds.
As Mike approached the tripwire, George leaned forward.
Everything looked perfect―so perfect, in fact, that George broke out in a sweat. Mike really might go flying when his skateboard came to a sudden and complete stop.
Oh man, George thought. I hope he doesn’t get hurt! Mike wasn’t a bad guy, after all.
Technically, that was George’s job—being a bad guy. He wasn’t very good at it. No doubt Alex, his big brother, would have found a way to not only successfully trip Mike, but to pick his pockets while he was flying through the air. Alex wouldn’t be feeling anxious right now.
Pressing the magnifying button next to his left eye, George zeroed in closer. Mike was singing along to some song, earbuds barely visible through his hair. Pulling back on the zoom, George counted down as Mike approached the trap.
As he got closer and closer, George’s finger hovered over the terminate button.
Mike was almost there. He would hit the wire for sure.
With a huff, George pressed the button to stop the trick and then sagged against the window. He’d chickened out. Again.
But the red light on the remote didn’t flash. The wire wasn’t moving. Oh no…
Jerking back to his feet, he smacked the goggles to his face and forced himself to watch, grimacing in anticipation.
But right as Mike was about to cross the trap, a man in a black ski mask burst out from Mrs. Wutherford’s house, carrying a laptop. He was running full-out with Mrs. Wutherford screaming behind him, “Stop! Thief!”
Mike screeched his board to a halt, and the thief bolted in front of him. The thief hit the hidden wire and went sailing through the air before falling on his face. The laptop went flying harmlessly into the grass. George smacked his hand against his forehead.
Mrs. Wutherford kept the masked man on the ground by hitting him repeatedly with her watering can, and Mike was calling someone on his phone—probably the police.
George hit the retract button again and again. The police would no doubt be here in a heartbeat. No matter what, they could not find that tripwire. Remember rule number one! If the button didn’t work, he’d have to find some excuse to run out there, and he was terrible at lying.
A patrol car pulled up. George squeaked, “Come on! Come on!” He hit the remote on the table.
The remote’s red light suddenly lit up, and he let out a long whoosh of air. His secret was safe. The red light meant the wire had spooled into the hidden casing. Both stakes were safely hidden under the leaves. He’d collect his trap later, when the coast was clear.
George was caught between deepest relief and hugest despair. When the police car arrived, two officers stepped out: a big guy and a woman with mirrored sunglasses. Fumbling in his rush, George jammed on his Eavesdropping Ears and aimed his amplifier toward Mike and the police officers. The big guy spoke first.
“What’s going on here, young man?”
“Dude, that guy just came running out of the house, and like, tripped on the sidewalk or something.”
“Is anyone hurt?”
The police officers and Mike looked over at the slouching burglar being cuffed by the cop’s partner. Mrs. Wutherford seemed to be shouting words that not even criminals should hear.
Mike laughed. “Maybe just the crook.”
“Thank you for your time, then.”
George sighed with relief. No one even looked near his trap device. That was good news. But the only other thing he could be thankful for was that his family would never know he had yet another failure in his villainy résumé.
Not only had he not taken down a good guy, he’d accidentally taken down a bad guy! Talk about horrible luck. And even worse, if he were honest with himself, George had to admit he was glad Mike was safe and Mrs. Wutherford had gotten her laptop back. If he found out, Alex would never, ever let him live that one down.
 Gloss-Over-It: Sold at The Thrifty Villain store and website. The product description reads, “A unique blend of chemicals that refract light to make small objects almost unnoticeable. A priceless addition for villains who must pay attention to prices.”
If you are a book reviewer, librarian, or book seller, please let me know if you'd like an ARC ebook for review!
I hope you'll love George as much as I do! I can't wait for you to meet him!
Brief book blub:
When George fears he'll never make a successful villain because he's just too nice, he accepts a nearly impossible assignment to defeat the greatest superhero ever...who has a big problem of his own.
To those of you in 4th-8th grade and older, I hope I can offer a smidgen of help & encouragement as you traverse the waters of intermediate school, middle school, and high school.