Today is the day!


Edge of Extinction-The Ark Plan is officially on shelves! If you pre-ordered, it lands on your doorstep TODAY.

I woke up multiple times last night from pure excitement (think kid before Christmas anticipation) and had to force myself to go back to sleep. It wasn’t easy.

I’ve been looking forward to this day for YEARS.


For those of you holding this bright and shiny (and dare I say drop dead gorgeous) book in your hands, you may notice that something is missing.

Although, honestly, you might not. Not everyone looks for an author’s acknowledgements, but friends and family usually do. And mine unfortunately aren’t there. My amazing team over at HarperCollins was working with me to add things to the book at the eleventh hour: from an author’s note on my dinosaur research to an awesome download that you can find over at HarperCollins website. So in the middle of all this, my acknowledgments got lost in the shuffle and didn’t make it into the first print run. Which, is hopefully the first of many print runs. (Fingers crossed!) But, it will be in the next print run!

If this was my tenth book, I probably would have shrugged and moved on. But since this was my first book, and it took SO MANY PEOPLE to make this dream a reality, I was looking forward to having a platform to publicly thank them.

So I decided to do the next best thing, which was to post my acknowledgements here.  So without further delay…here are the acknowledgements for Edge of Extinction- The Ark Plan. 


How do you begin to thank the people who helped make the most passionate dream of your heart a reality? Somehow, a paragraph in this book doesn’t seem to cut it. But until I win the lottery and can fly everyone somewhere exotic and warm, this will have to do.

First, I have to thank my parents, Jim and Joyce Van Weelden, who gave me a magical childhood, supported me in my every endeavor, and prayed for me. For my dad, who taught me the importance of a strong work ethic and a good left-handed lay-up. For my mom, who read too many versions of my book to count and worked tirelessly to help make my dream a reality. Without her this book never would have happened. I am who I am, what I am, and where I am because of my amazing parents. Thank you both from the bottom of my heart.

For my brother, Aric, who reminds me constantly not to take myself or this life so seriously. When I wrote the character of Todd, it was with your mischievous and big-hearted personality in mind. For Allison and Jenna and too many friends and family members to mention, who have always been in my corner no matter how awkward or uncoordinated I was.

For the countless teachers in my life who pushed me to be better, specifically the teachers of Illiana Christian High School and Butler University. For Jeff DeVries, for challenging me even when I didn’t want to be challenged, and Dan Barden for telling me to stop making excuses and just write a good book.

For the countless middle school students who walked through my classroom door every year at Clay Middle School. This book was inspired by and written for the quirky kids who made teaching the best job in the world.

For Alec Shane, who first pulled this book out of the slush pile and told me it would make a great middle grade novel. For Jodi Reamer, my rockstar agent, thank you for your excitement, feedback, and unwavering belief in this book.

For my team at HarperCollins: after years of dreaming of publishing a book, this experience has been better than I could have ever hoped. For Tara Weikum and Harriet Wilson, thank you for the brainstorming and insights that helped turn The Ark Plan into the novel it is today. You are both brilliant. Thank you to my cover artist, Eric Deschamps, and the entire art department for making my characters and vision for this book come to life.

For the most important person in my life, my husband, Josh. I cannot begin to thank you for being my rock, my supporter, and my best friend through this entire journey. I couldn’t ask for a better partner in this life. For my daughter, London, and son, Lincoln, you two are the inspiration that lights up my days and the push that makes me want to be better.

And last, to my creator, who makes all things possible, even the impossible dream of publishing a book. Ephesians 3:20-21: Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory.

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