Category Archives: Joan’s books

Modern Surprises – science fiction novel

Having fun while saving the world

Modern Surprises was no ordinary company: the science division had secretly developed a portal that would take them anywhere. The plan was to use the portal to help those in need. However, a billionaire industrialist found out about the portal, and would lie, cheat, and steal to get it. But the Modern Surprises team was not about to let him have it.

“Joan’s prose is always cool, it’s a majority female team and that’s such a good title.” —Paul Cornell, author of Who Killed Sherlock Holmes?

“Modern Surprises [is] a delightful adventure story…. This book is tremendous fun, and has a lot of really strong, fascinating characters, most of whom happen to be female. Really groovy stuff, and you should check it out.” —Keith R.A. DeCandido, author of Dragon Precinct

Wondry Dragon Finds a Home

Children’s Bookwatch: February 2016
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI 53575

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Wondry Dragon Finds a Home
Joan Marie Verba
FTL Publications
PO Box 1363, Minnetonka, MN 55345-0363
9781936881444, $6.87, PB, 66pp,

Do you like dragons? The follow the adventures of Wondry Dragon as she finds a new home with her new human friend, Rhea in Joan Marie Verba’s delightful story, “Wondry Dragon Finds a Home”. Rhea and her mom and dad have never had a dragon in the house before, and they all learn what Wondry can and cannot do. Rhea and Wondry play together, help out their neighbors — and try to stay out of trouble. Rhea can never tell what Wondry will do next because Wondry is always surprising her with what dragons can do. Wondry will surprise young readers ages 6 to 8 as well! A children’s chapter book story suitable for students in grades 1-3, “Wondry Dragon Finds a Home” is very highly recommended for both community and elementary school libraries. For children’s personal reading lists it should be noted that “Wondry Dragon Finds a Home” is also available in a Kindle edition ($2.99).

Coloring Books from Joan Marie Verba

I’ve recently started putting together coloring books. Here are the first two:

These 25 designs are generic cityscapes for both children and adults who want easy drawings to color. Most of the drawings are simple, though some are more complex. Feel free to color entire sections or individual buildings. You can even create a mural or write on the side of a building. There are dotted lines at the side of each page. There is only one drawing per piece of paper, so if you wish to cut them out and save them, use the dotted line as a guide. Whether you need a coloring book for an adult or a child, this is one to consider!

Paperback available here.

This coloring book is for both kids and grownups who want easy drawings to color. Most of the 26 drawings are simple, and you can add your own designs in the blank areas if you wish. There is only one drawing on each piece of paper (the back side of the page is blank). The dotted lines on each page show where you can cut out the page from the book if you want to display the finished piece, or color the drawing outside of the book. Whether you need a coloring book for an adult or a child, this is one to consider!


Henry Jenkins is the Provost’s Professor of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. He recently interviewed me about Star Trek, Darkover, and Thunderbirds.  

An account of early Star Trek and Darkover fan fiction by archivist/chronicler Joan Marie Verba:

Thunderbirds are Go and Joan Marie Verba Explains Why.

Posted by Joan Marie Verba at 5/19/2010 1:20 PM 


On Tuesday, May 18, 2010, I’m hosting a virtual online (re)launch party for my Thunderbirds books, particularly Countdown to Action!

On that date, if you order one or more of the Thunderbirds novels, you will be able to download free bonuses!

A number of partners are helping me with this virtual party. These include:

Dan Poynter, author of the Self-Publishing Manual.
Peggy McColl, author of Your Destiny Switch and other self-help books.
Michelle Cimino, Digital Etiquette Expert.
Hasmark Services, The Heart and Soul of Book Marketing
Steve Miller and Sharon Lee, authors of the Liaden series of science fiction novels.
Henry Jenkins, popular culture expert, the author of Textual Poachers, and the Provost’s Professor of Communications, Journalism, and Cinematic Art at the University of Southern California.

Put the date on your calendar so you won’t miss out on these special offers!

More information will be posted as the Countdown to the Virtual (Re)Launch continues!

Posted by Joan Marie Verba at 4/22/2010 8:02 PM 


I am thrilled to report that my novel, Thunderbirds™: Action Alert, is a Mom’s Choice Awards® (Silver recipient) for 2010. The Mom’s Choice Award is given to books the judges feel represent the best in family-friendly entertainment. I am proud of this because it is my goal to create novels that are family-friendly, and this award confirms that I have met that goal.

My novel Countdown to Action! won the same award last year, so I am doubly pleased to get another award this year.

Most of the time, I find that others are pleased and impressed when one of my books gets an award. Other times, the response isn’t as favorable.

There seems to be a thought among the unfavorable responses that some awards are better than others. Last year, for instance, when I called the local newspaper to ask if they’d announce I’d won this award, I was told, “I haven’t heard of this award.”

Well, so what? The fact that I won an award means that someone who I do not know, have never met, and am not related to thinks that my book has merit. Really, almost any award, better known Hugo Awards, etc., has this characteristic. Hugo Awards, for instance, are reader awards, and most voting for the award are not literary professionals. Even so, the Hugo Award has prestige and significance.

Last year, I read a blog from a professional book critic who slammed one of the lesser-known awards. She claimed that this award (and this wasn’t the Mom’s Choice Award, by the way) had a paid entry fee and that everyone who paid the fee got some sort of award. Not true. I have entered my books for this particular award. The award granters state very clearly that they get on the order of 1000 entries, and maybe 50 titles get an award. That means 95% of the books entered don’t get an award. 

There may indeed be “vanity” awards; I have heard of them, though I’ve never entered my books in one of these to my knowledge. Almost all the awards that I enter are judged by professionals (and if not professionals, they are readers, such as the people who voted on the Hugos are). Some have fees, some don’t. I don’t necessarily think paying a fee to be considered devalues the award. Before I enter any award, I check to see (and the reputable awards committees provide this information up front) who is judging, what standards are used, etc.

Therefore, when I win an award, I’m happy, no matter what anyone else thinks!

Posted by Joan Marie Verba at 2/1/2010 4:33 PM


My books, and in particular, my October 2009 novel, Deadly Danger, are featured on the Reading Minnesota blog:

Posted by Joan Marie Verba at 10/2/2009 4:14 PM