Joy’s Writing

I’m grateful to have found several opportunities to share my work with bunches of readers! Here are some of my favorite recent projects:

“The Tooth Fairy’s Helper” (short fiction)

Awarded First Prize in the 2018 Beach Reads contest, sponsored by Browseabout Books and Cat & Mouse Press; will be published in the forthcoming Beach Fun anthology, Cat & Mouse Press, 2018

The first night of a sweet family vacation takes a sour turn when Kendra and Jake discover that their older daughter has learned “the truth” about the Tooth Fairy, right before their younger daughter loses her first tooth… in the Atlantic Ocean. To pull off a vacation-worthy Tooth Fairy caper, these parents will need some extra help.

“Million-Dollar Burrito” (flash fiction)

Awarded Top Ten recognition out of 300 entries by WOW! Women on Writing, 2017

Sisterly love takes on new meaning as Laurie and Meg band together to acclimate to the newest change in their family: the birth of their three-decades-younger half-sister.

Read it HERE!

“The Shot Shared Round the World” (short fiction)

Selected for publication in the Beach Life anthology, Cat & Mouse Press, 2017

Seventeen-year-old Leigh‘s photo (taken at a concert she wasn’t allowed to attend) accidentally goes “viral” on the internet right before her family’s annual vacation at Rehoboth Beach. Leigh and her net-savvy cousins try to keep her parents from finding out, and in the process their family finds new ways to bridge the generation gap.

The New SAT Handbook (nonfiction, co-authored with Andrew Cole)

Available on as of February 2016

A fellow tutor and I co-wrote this user-friendly guide to the dreaded standardized test. It’s a slimmed-down prep guide that incorporates multipurpose strategies, detailed review modules for grammar and mathematics, and the occasional bit of humor to keep things moving. As a veteran tutor and owner of Givens Academic and Preparatory Tutoring, I also use this text with my own students to help them efficiently learn strategies and review concepts that will be useful long after test day.

Ugly Stick (young adult fiction)

Available on as of April 2013

Fifteen-year-old April Somerfield is a shy, self-loathing misfit who would blend in with the wallpaper, if only the wallpaper were a little less attractive. But when April sees a chance to finally ditch the family curse that made her who she is, she must decide if becoming beautiful on the outside is worth giving up the person she is meant to be.