The Curious Conundrum of Charlemagne Crosse (Sept 2023)
young adult fiction
PJ McIlvaine is a prolific author/screenwriter/writer/journalist.
PJ is the author of the AmazonUS best-selling VIOLET YORKE, GILDED GIRL: GHOSTS IN THE CLOSET (April 2022, Darkstroke Books), her debut middle-grade supernatural historical mystery adventure about a sassy poor little rich girl/Titanic survivor who sees ghosts in 1912 Manhattan.
PJ’s debut picture book LITTLE LENA AND THE BIG TABLE (May 2019, Big Belly Book Co.), with illustrations by Leila Nabih, is about a determined little girl tired of eating with her annoying cousins at the kid’s table, only to discover that the grown-up big table isn’t much better. Her second published picture book, DRAGON ROAR (October 2021, MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing), illustrations by Logan Rogers), is about a lonely, sick dragon who has lost his mighty roar and the brave village girl who helps him find it again. PJ is also under contract with Oghma Creative Media for a series of Creature Feature picture books (2023-2024).
PJ is also a co-host and founding member of #PBPitch, the premiere Twitter pitch party for picture book creators.
PJ has been published in numerous outlets including The New York Times and Newsday. PJ also does features and interviews for The Children’s Book Insider newsletter.
Also, PJ’s critically acclaimed Showtime original family movie MY HORRIBLE YEAR with Mimi Rogers, Karen Allen, and Eric Stoltz, was nominated for a Daytime Emmy.
PJ lives in Eastern Long Island with her family along with Luna, an extremely spoiled French Bulldog, and Sasha the Psycho Cat.
The Curious Conundrum of Charlemagne Crosse
September 26, 2023
Precocious Charlemagne Crosse had an idyllic childhood until the night her parents Sir Archibald and Lady Lavinia vanished in the aftermath of a solar eclipse. Shipped off to disreputable boarding schools, Charlemagne’s life is bleak. However, on her sixteenth birthday, Charlemagne unexpectedly regains her wealth and freedom. Upon her return to the ancestral Crosse mansion, she’s reunited with black sheep Uncle Alistair and his new family: his wife, the exotic Antoinette, and her peculiar daughter Simone.
Charlemagne is summoned to a meeting with the mercurial Queen Victoria who still grieves for her late husband Prince Albert. Victoria reveals that Sir Archibald, an eccentric inventor, was under Crown orders to devise a way to contact Albert in the afterlife. The queen is convinced that only Charlemagne can decipher the clues that her father surely left behind.
Supported by a cast of diverse characters, Charlemagne embarks on a perilous journey through the seedy underbelly of an alternate Victorian London. And with another solar eclipse looming, it might be Charlemagne’s best—and last—chance to reunite with her parents.