“Life in the Seven Kingdoms is never dull . . .” 

–Jen McConnel, School Library Journal


Building buzz for TROUBLE AT THE VALENTINE FACTORY in Mayen, Germany

Buzz for Trouble at the Valentine Factory

In Trouble at the Valentine Factory, bees play a big role. What’s going on? The eleven-year-old Saffron twins can’t quite figure it out.

The bees shouldn’t be active in the middle of winter.

And what’s with the mysterious white darts popping up around the beehives?

digital paperback editions of Valentine Factory
Will Valentine's Day be the sweetest day of the year? Or the rudest?

Available at Apple Books now! Paperbacks and more stores coming January 11th, 2022!

town with arch and medieval storefront Mayen

It's the perfect time to explore places with buzz!

It’s the perfect time to explore places with buzz on the blog. That’s why we’re talking bees and how the town of Mayen in Germany has made them welcome.

Come along for the adventure, it’s sure to be sweet!

Mayen castle and Bee castle

At first glance, the thing in front of the castle looks like a bee hotel . . .

The lawn is full of tiny flowers–no weedkiller here–a bee paradise.

bee hotel

Close up, you can see it's actually a bee castle!

Bee hotels are evidently trickier than they look. The best ones provide shelter for solitary bees. This post from a researcher in the Netherlands explains why: https://entomologistlounge.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/insect-hotels-a-refuge-or-a-fad/

What are those funny yellow barrels?

playground with bee slide
close up of beehive playground

It's a beehive playground!

No one in my group was the right size to test this playground, but I enjoyed the bee theme. The whole town feels bee-friendly with lots of trees, shrubs, and flowering plants (and my favorite–vegetable gardens).

This castle has another fascinating secret . . .

I’ll tell you about it in my next post! (post goes live Jan 11th! The same day as the print editions. #somuchexcitement)

In the mean time, find out more about Trouble at the Valentine Factory here.

book cover image for Valentine Factory
What do you get when you mix cupids, honeybees, and the Blackfly Queen?
view of Mayen castle from bee playground