Preorder Murder, Magic, and What We Wore!

Cover of Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones (cover by Sarah Watts)Excited to read my second novel, Murder, Magic, and What We Wore, coming September 19th from Knopf Books for Young Readers?

Now you can preorder a signed hardback copy from the legendary Secret Garden Bookshop, who will be helping me celebrate its launch on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at 7 pm!

Just add a note in the instructions box when you order saying you’d like it signed, and if you’d like it personalized for a library, a classroom, or someone special.

Preorder a signed copy!


Fans of Patrice Kindl’s Keeping the Castle or Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer’s Sorcery and Cecelia will adore this funny Regency-era mystery about a determined young woman with a magical trick up her sleeve . . .

The year is 1818, the city is London, and 16-year-old Annis Whitworth has just learned that her father is dead and all his money is missing. And so, of course, she decides to become a spy. Annis always suspected that her father was himself a spy, and following in his footsteps to unmask his killer makes perfect sense. Alas, it does not make sense to England’s current spymasters–not even when Annis reveals that she has the rare magical ability to sew glamours: garments that can disguise the wearer completely. Well, if the spies are too pigheaded to take on a young woman of quality, then Annis will take them on. And so she crafts a new double life for herself. Miss Annis Whitworth will appear to live a quiet life in a country cottage with her aunt, and Annis-in-disguise as Madame Martine, glamour artist, will open a magical dressmaking shop. That way she can earn a living, maintain her social standing, and, in her spare time, follow the coded clues her father left behind and unmask his killer. It can’t be any harder than navigating the London social season, can it?

Murder, Magic, and What We Wore blew my bonnet off. Kelly Jones has found a fresh way to share the delights of the magical regency. I truly love this book ” –Caroline Stevermer, coauthor of Sorcery & Cecilia, or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot
“A deliciously enchanting adventure full of magic, mystery and delight.” –Stephanie Burgis, author of Kat, Incorrigible







Video: my chicken Ada vs. the Apple


My chickens aren’t easy to photograph — they are very suspicious of anything new, and they don’t like the look of my camera or phone. But here’s a very short video from last fall, of my chicken Ada.

Click to see a very short video of Ada pecking at an apple on a tree in my backyard.

Note: the apples have socks on them to protect them from apple maggots. The maggots can’t get through the socks to reach the apples. But Ada learned how to pull them off… Ada is a very smart chicken, although she doesn’t always do what she’s supposed to!


Pinch me

Cover of Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones (cover by Sarah Watts)
So there’s a real live publisher web page for my second novel, Murder, Magic, and What We Wore

And a Goodreads page…

And an Indiebound page…

This is starting to feel exhilaratingly, terrifyingly real!!

*takes a deep breath*

My second novel, Murder, Magic, and What We Wore, will be coming out September 19, 2017 (*not panicking at all, nope, not me*) from Knopf Books for Young Readers.

If you’re excited as I am, ask your independent bookstore when they’re taking preorders for Fall publications, and maybe take a day off or so to enjoy it…

I plan to!

Cover: Murder, Magic, and What We Wore!

I’m so pleased to share the gorgeous cover of MURDER, MAGIC, AND WHAT WE WORE with you!

The artwork is by the amazing Sarah Watts, who really brought the spirit of this story to life.

MURDER, MAGIC, AND WHAT WE WORE will be published September 19, 2017 from Knopf Books for Young Readers.

Cover of Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones (cover by Sarah Watts)




Murder, Magic, and What We Wore

mmawww_smUnnamed sources have informed me that my second book, now titled MURDER, MAGIC, AND WHAT WE WORE, is currently making its way to the very first reviewers. (My spies are everywhere!)

So, a little more about the book, and how it came to be…

MURDER, MAGIC, AND WHAT WE WORE began more than ten years ago as a book I called GLAMOUR, and it came from my great love of novels set in Regency England, and my inability to write anything without magic. It wasn’t the first novel I ever wrote — it was the second. I spent years and years working on it, and held my breath, and submitted it… And it didn’t work for anyone. It didn’t go anywhere.

So, I set it aside. I flailed around, wondering if I was really a writer at all. While I flailed, I wrote a bunch more books. (Lesson learned: keep writing, even if you’re not sure why.) I taught myself how to tell a story. And I wrote a very odd book that I loved, and I sent it out into the world… and it became my first published novel, UNUSUAL CHICKENS FOR THE EXCEPTIONAL POULTRY FARMER.

And then my awesome editor asked me what else I was thinking about, and I confessed I still had a story I couldn’t get out of my mind…

Trouble was, I knew those early versions really were a disaster. So, I took a deep breath, left the originals in the drawer, and rewrote the story from scratch, without looking at them. (Note to writers: in my experience, this is not easier or quicker than writing a new book.)

This time, I really thought about what happened during the years when King George III was deemed unfit to rule (due to mental illness) and England was instead ruled by his son, the Prince Regent. Technology was changing daily life, countries were at war, and class divisions ran deep. I looked at what was happening in other parts of the world, and at some of the astonishing real people who lived then. And my story grew, and changed.

Sixteen-year-old Annis Whitworth is a very different fish out of water than Sophie Brown, and the world of historic fashion and spies is vastly different than modern farming. But I hope you may see some similarities in the ways both girls step forward to do what they know is right, however much it scares them — hopefully giving you a laugh or two along the way.

MURDER, MAGIC, AND WHAT WE WORE, for readers age 12+, will be coming out from Knopf Books for Young Readers on September 19, 2017!


Coming June 2017!

How to Sew a Glamour -- or -- Murder, Magic, and What We WoreI’m ecstatically pleased to announce that my second book will be coming out in June of 2017 from Knopf Books for Young Readers!

The new title is: How to Sew a Glamour — or — Murder, Magic, and What We Wore

It’s about sixteen-year old Miss Annis Whitworth, who has a talent for sewing glamours: magical garments that can disguise anyone who wears them completely. When her father dies under suspicious circumstances, she decides she’d much rather become a spy like he was than a governess. Unfortunately, the other spies don’t quite see things her way — at least, not yet.

It’s set in 1818 in England, during the Regency period, and may best suit readers age ten and up. And no, there isn’t a single chicken in it — but there is some fun magic, some parts that I think are awfully funny, and a few letters here and there (including messages in code!)



Unusual Chickens in Paperback!

HenriettaPaperbackUnusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, written by me and illustrated by Katie Kath, will be coming out in paperback from Yearling Books on Tuesday, March 8, 2016!


Not that Henrietta is impressed or anything. (Hilarious Henrietta commentary by the awesome Katie Kath, as always!)


You can order it through Third Place Books near me, so I can sign it for you (just add a note requesting it be signed by author Kelly Jones when you place your order), or find it at your local independent bookstore!

Spring 2016 events!

IFPlease come say hello at these upcoming public events!


Bellevue, Washington:

King County Library System Foundation Literary Lions Gala

Saturday, March 5th, 6-9 pm

Hyatt Regency Bellevue

(with other amazing authors like Ken Jennings, Martha Brockenbrough, Ruth Reichl, Samantha Vamos, & Molly Wizenberg!)


Houston, Texas:

Texas Library Association Annual Conference

Tuesday, April 19th, 3 pm: Texas Bluebonnet Speed Dating Preconference event

Wednesday, April 20th, 11:00 am – 12:00 noon: signing at the Random House Children’s booth, #1518


Note: I’m teaching lots this spring, but mostly at school events which are not open to the public. If you’d like me to come speak or teach your group, talk to your library, bookstore, or school about putting something together, or contact me!

Chicken Books

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer coverDid you know that the books that Sophie reads in Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer are real books? Here’s the list!

The Hoboken Chicken Emergency by Daniel Pinkwater (one of my favorite books when I was a kid!)

Prairie Evers by Ellen Airgood (author Ellen Airgood also has a diner, which sells Prairie Evers, sequel The Education of Ivy Blake, and even Unusual Chickens!)

The Great Chicken Debacle by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor


Want more books for kids about chickens? Try this Mackin Books in Bloom Urban Farming for the Intermediate Grades list!


Liked Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer? Try some of the other books on these lists!

50 Best Books for Summer by Instructor Magazine

Celebrating Food Literacy: Seattle authors’ books for kids and teens by the Seattle Public Library

“If You Liked…” Summer Reading Series by We Need Diverse Books

Best Books for 10-Year-Olds (5th Grade) by Melissa Taylor for Imagination Soup

Junior Edition: New Books for Younger Readers by Celia McGee for the Center for Fiction

Hispanic/Latino Speculative Fiction for Kids by Stephanie Whelan for Views from the Tesseract

Books for Empowered Girls from Stephanie Appell at Parnassus Books for Girls to the Moon

Female Protagonists in 2015 Fantasy by Stephanie Whelan for Views from the Tesseract


And, here are five middle grade books I chose for The Children’s Book Review!

Happy reading, everyone!!

Happy Food Literacy Month!


Because Unusual Chickens is about a girl learning to take care of chickens and has practical, real-world advice as well as magic, even though it’s a novel, I’ve been asked to take part in some Seattle Food Literacy Month events!

So, please come say hello and talk chickens with me at these upcoming public events!


Seattle, Washington:

Seattle Tilth Harvest Fair Signing

Meridian Park, Readers to Eaters book signing tent

Saturday, September 12th, 2015, 1:00 pm

(I took Seattle Tilth’s beginning chickens class before getting my own first chickens!)


Seattle, Washington:

Cultivating Readers: Planting Seeds of Reading & Eating During Food Literacy Month

Seattle Central Library

Thursday, September 17, 2015, 6:00 -8:30 p.m.


Bellevue, Washington:

Reading & Signing

University Bookstore, Bellevue

Saturday, September 19, 2015, 12 noon

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