Islandport signs award-winning Maine author | Arts & Culture

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Islandport signs award-winning Maine author
Islandport signs award-winning Maine author

YA novel “Mercy: The Last New England Vampire” set for Fall 2011 release

YARMOUTH, MAINE (FEBRUARY 2011)—Islandport Press is pleased to announce that it has signed a contract with award-winning author Sarah L. Thomson to publish her new young adult novel, Mercy: The Last New England Vampire. Mercy will be released in the fall of 2011.

Mercy breaks new ground in the genre of young adult vampire stories in that it is inspired by a true story. Mercy Brown and her family lived in Exeter, R.I., in the late 1890s, when the New England vampire tradition held powerful sway. When Mercy’s family members began to die, fear struck deep in the hearts of the small community. Following Mercy’s death, when her brother  took sick, villagers convinced Mercy’s father to exhume her corpse, dig out her heart, burn it and feed it to her brother. He too died—as Mercy had—from tuberculosis.

Middle-grade readers will easily identify with the modern-day narrator, Haley Brown, a 14-year-old girl who’s struggling to cope with a new stepmom and baby brother. Distracted by a beloved cousin’s terminal illness, her grades start to drop. Then, the boy she has a crush on starts dating her best friend. When Haley digs deep into her family history for a school project, she uncovers a disturbing New England tradition and a ghostly past. Haley must overcome doubts and confront a vampire in order to save herself and her family. Thomson’s gifts as a storyteller and writer make Mercy an exciting coming of age story about loss and family.

Thomson has published more than 25 books for young readers. A versatile writer, her books include an adventure about two friends who rescue a dragon’s egg, a picture book biography of Abraham Lincoln, and the young readers’ version of the bestselling title Three Cups of Tea. The Washington Post said that the plot of Thomson’s book, The Manny, is “worthy of Jane Austen,” and Booklist called her Arthurian novel, The Dragon’s Son, “a spellbinding tale of love, intrigue, and betrayal.” Her fantasy novel, Dragon’s Egg, was the winner of the 2007 Maine Lupine Award.

A former children’s book editor at HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, Thomson now lives in Portland with her young daughter and two cats who help with her writing by lying on the piece of paper she needs most.

Islandport Press, an award-winning independent publishing company, is dedicated to producing quality books about Maine and Northern New England. Digital photos of the author and book cover are available upon request. For more information, please call 207-846-3344, visit or e-mail

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