My New YA Mystery

Learn more about Tunnels

or download a sample chapter

A Revolutionary Adventure

Illustrations © Suharu Ogawa

Join Mattie and Josh, the sister-brother team who discover the mysterious Chaos Cave. Ghostly breezes chill their spines as they try to interpret strange petroglyphs and a note of warning. The kids stumble upon a skeleton whose bones rest around an ancient Chinese Puzzle Box. Inside the box they find a ring—a ring that will change their lives forever. Chaos Cave transports Mattie and Josh on A Revolutionary Adventure as the kids travel through time to Boston, 1775. They encounter the evil Archie, who seeks the ring for all the power it holds. While they desperately try to evade Archie, they must also find a way to return to their own time without altering the course of important historic events. By secretly using their laptop computer and digital maps made with geographic information systems (GIS) technology, the kids share crucial British troop movements with famous patriots to help secure victory in the Revolutionary War. read more...


GIS has hit literature! "Chaos Cave: A Revolutionary Adventure" by Lesley Downie takes young readers into a time-travel and geospatial tech adventure. --GIS Education Community Blog

I found this book to be a teacher's dream…what a fresh, quality addition to books for tweens (and even adults) that can educate, inspire, and entertain!   Doris A. Anderson, Amazon Reviewer

“The unique blend of historical fantasy and modern GIS technology make Chaos Cave: A Revolutionary Adventure both educational and interesting, but it is Downie’s skillful writing, artful pacing and the humanity of her characters that make the novel fun and captivating,” said Mark Stewart, a GIS educator. “This is definitely a story that deserves a whole series!”

I'm a sucker for time travel stories, so I was attracted to Chaos Cave strictly on premise. But I also love it when I can track an author from the time they first saunter onto the scene. Well, Lesley Downie doesn't saunter, but practically bolts out of the box with her heroic yarn that mixes time travel, history and science. V. Pooler, Amazon Reviewer



The Grove School Rocks!

I was asked to  spend a few hours at The Grove School as part of a series of workshops hosted by the Wild Lemon Project. Lucky me got to be part of their initiative to support and propagate love for reading and writing in my community. The school sits among the few remaining orange groves here in Redlands and is charming. Anyway, if you want to regain trust in the goodness and talent of kids, you will find it there. A handful of teens joined me for a talk about writing and the process of being a writer, followed by a traditional writer’s workshop. I was impressed by their talent and hope I’ll be lucky enough to be asked back. If I have a chance, I plan to link to a few of the stories they read.

Finding the time

Finding the time to write a book while working full time is a challenge, but it is so fun to escape into another world. Whether it’s working on my children’s picture book, “Fat Girl” (based on my old bulldog who is indeed fat) or on my next book, “My FORTUNEate Life”, there’s nothing better than…

I have an agent!

Christmas this season is especially sweet. I’m excited to announce that Brittany Booker of The Booker Albert Literary Agency is representing me. The journey to find the right agent has taken time, and I’m thankful to have an agent who has lots of energy and is enthusiastic about my new YA novel, Tunnels. Hopefully soon…

My new YA mystery is done!


I’m so excited to announce the completion of my newest novel titled TUNNELS. If you’d like to check out a chapter or just read about the book, go to the slider on my main page above and you can access it all. Meanwhile, I’ll be spending this weekend at the Writer’s Digest Conference West in…

Fat Girl Eats Big on Thanksgiving


Finally outlined the first book of the Fat Girl Series. Picture this: overweight bulldog, full from Thanksgiving dinner, decides to saves the world one kid at a time. In F.G.’s attempts to get healthy, she sees the kids of the house needing to move too. Drooling isn’t the only thing on her mind as she…

Brookside Elementary Rocks!

Lucky me spent a whole day with the talented kids at Brookside Elementary in Beaumont, California. What an awesome collection of stories you wrote. Thanks to all of you, including the school staff, for welcoming me.

My American Lemonade

There comes a time when you are given an opportunity that is life changing. I am lucky enough to be a co-writer with Atanas Entchev, telling the story of his family’s 18 year immigration journey, the good and the bad. If you’d like to find out more about this brilliant man and his dream to become an American citizen, be sure to go to our blog My American Lemonade.