Thursday, December 15, 2016

Excerpt: The Whizbang Machine by Danielle A. Vann

Title: The Whizbang Machine
Author: Danielle A. Vann
Genre: YA

After years of running from his tragic past, Jack Yale books a flight home. With him is a typewriter that is intended to be a gift for his granddaughter, Elizabeth. The minute Elizabeth's fingers cradle the large black and cream keys the machine responses: popping, sizzling, and roaring to life with a Whiz-Whiz-BANG!

Elizabeth quickly discovers the typewriter has powers beyond anything she has ever seen. The more she types, the more the machine spells out guarded secrets. Each secret leads them deeper into a haunted past. Each secret must be revealed in order to set history straight and remove a curse that has been on their family for centuries.

To solve the mystery, Elizabeth Yale, alongside Jack, will have to crack the code of the Whizbang Machine. What they find challenges their most basic assumptions of their family, the history of the typewriter, and even Elizabeth's father's death. The ultimate goal is to remove the curse.

The question is: will Jack and Elizabeth be able to carry out their mission?

Book Opener

verything changed the sweltering summer of 2007. Literally everything. I was eight; up until then life on Downhill Lane, on the outskirts of New York City, was well, exceptionally normal. The inner workings of our little house were about as predictable as the golden sunrise peeking its head over the eastern sky. That is until death struck.
“Elizabeth, sweetie?” my mom, Laurel, called from downstairs. “It’s almost five o’clock.”
I suppose you could say that is when my mundane, little life took an unusual twist.
Black ink smeared across the pristine white page with each push of the space bar. I closed my eyes and listened to the hum of the light blue electric typewriter and the chatter turning over in my mind. There was still so much left to type. I listened for a minute longer and then pressed my
 fingers down to cradle the keys.
“Lizzy?” Mom called again, “Your grandfather will be here any minute. Are you coming downstairs or not?”
“Yes, Mom, I’m coming,” I shouted back.
Click, clack.
This is the story of my family eight years later.
“Elizabeth! Take your fingers off that typewriter right now! Jack will be here any minute. Please come downstairs,” Mom whined in a panic.
“Okay, okay, I’m coming.”
The machine sighed to sleep with the flip of the red off button. I drew in a deep breath, stuffed Jack’s last postcard in my front jean pocket and stood eerily still. Jack, I thought. After all this time, he would finally be standing inside my house. The place he used to treasure before the bomb went off in both of our lives. It didn’t seem like today would ever come. The lump that has sat in my throat for more than two days somehow grew bigger when I allowed my mind to utter his name.
My mother’s tone shook away the heaviness of my memories and propelled me forward. “Okay, okay! I’m coming—relax,” I called, thundering down the stairs, “I was working on my English paper I’ve got to finish before school lets out. Oh, and by the way, my typewriter is smudging the page again. Maybe we can take it to Mr. Sherry’s shop tomorrow.” 
“Or you could use the laptop instead of fighting that archaic heap of junk,” she countered. 
“It isn’t a heap of junk. Besides, there is something romantic about writing on an old typewriter.”
“You’re fifteen,” Mom laughed.
“I’ll be sixteen in less than a month,” I interjected.
“Still, what do you know about romance? I love that you have an appreciation for old things, particularly typewriters, but I’m tired of spending my hard-earned money to repair that thing. So, maybe, just maybe, it’s time to step into the modern age, dear. Now, before Jack arrives, look around. How does the house look, Lizzy?”

                                                                         Author Bio
Danielle A. Vann lives to write. When she was small, she spent endless days writing and crafting wild characters out of thin air. As Danielle grew, that love for writing sparked a career in journalism. She began her career as a scriptwriter and then moved into a flourishing career as a news reporter, food reporter, and morning/evening news anchor. That career earned her an Associate Press Award.

After becoming a mother, she was inspired to write children's books for her three adorable children. While she holds children fiction especially close to her heart, she also loves to write books for all ages. These genres include Young-Adult Fiction, Adult Fiction, Young Reader Fiction, and Non-Fiction.

When she isn't writing you can find her doing "mom" things, digging in her organic vegetable gardens, running, finding her Zen in yoga, or playing chef in the kitchen. She currently lives in Mansfield, Texas.

Danielle is also the author of Gracie Lou and The Bad Dream Eater, November 2016 release The Whizbang Machine, and September 2016 release The Very Tall Tale of Ranger, the Great Pyrenees, and his Adorable Friend, Miss Keys, and October 2016 release Building Faith Through A Carpenter's Hands. To learn more, visit

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