Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My Twice-Written Governor General's Nominee


“There are rules for what I’ve done.  
Specific punishments for 
crimes against friendship.”

Laren Olivier knows the rules, but her attraction to a friend’s ex-boyfriend is strong.  She tells herself that if only they can keep their romance a secret, no one will get hurt.  But Laren is not the only one with something to hide.

Thus begins a year long journey through secrets, lies, exposures and betrayals.  Somehow, Laren must find a way to reconcile who she is with what she’s done.  At the same time, she finds herself struggling with a discovery so shocking it rocks the very foundation of her world.  

This, my 21st published book, was written twice.  The first version was prose, but, I was not entirely satisfied with the voice.  Eventually, and with the blessing of my longsuffering editor, Christie Harkin, I tackled it again, only this time in a free verse format.  

I would like to acknowledge, with sincere thanks, the support of Canada Council, which made it possible for me to complete this project. 

Reviews and Awards!

Shortlisted for the 2013 Governor General's Awards in the Children's Text category.
Shortlisted for the 2013 - 2014 Red Maple Award
Winner of the 2013 Word Guild Award in the Juvenile Category
Horn Book Outstanding Selection 
OLA Best Bets 2013: Young Adult Fiction

Review: CM Magazine

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Driftwood


It never stops being thrilling - seeing a new book for the first time. I'm especially excited about this one - it's the first time I've written a novel that has stories within the main story. Loved my main character -- loved all the characters, actually, and the way everything came together thanks to excellent advice from my editor, Christie Harkin.

About the story:

Adam's summer is off to a disappointing start. His so-called "best friend" has bailed on him, choosing to stay behind to care for a sick dog, instead of joining Adam and his family at the seaside campground as planned. Adam is furious with Billy for abandoning him, impatient with his mother for her artistic obsessions, and embarrassed by his dad's lame attempts at being funny. At least an ever-changing cast of new summer friends proves to be an entertaining distraction: Joey, the shoe-thief with the cute sister; the mischievous Linden twins; enigmatic Nevin; and Ethan, the adventurer. But it is Theo, the blind gentleman up on the hill, with his magical stories of driftwood, who helps Adam to see the true nature of friendship.

A middle grade novel. 

Updates for Driftwood

Shortlisted for the Canadian Library Association 2014 Book of the Year for Children

Friday, October 28, 2011

Miss Wondergem's Dreadfully Dreadful Pie


Miss Wondergem's Bakery, coming quite soon!
In fact, it will open tomorrow at noon!

There's a brand new bakery in town and no one could be happier about it than Myrna, Verna and Bradley McGrew.  As much as they love their mother, the McGrew children can't help but dread what comes out of her kitchen - and with very good reason!  For example:

Her cookies and muffins and pies were so hard
That they used them for building a fort in the yard.

Miss Wondergem's arrival promises to solve this problem, and the children waste no time in presenting themselves at the bakery the very first day it opens.  Unfortunately, Miss Wondergem's pies are more than a little unusual, and the children are in for a most unpleasant surprise.

The charming artwork for this picture book is by Wendy J. Whittingham, who truly brought the story to life with her illustrations.  Readers will enjoy meeting, not only the children, their mom and Miss Wondergem, but also the McGrew's family pet, a delightful hedgehog named Spike.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Testify

“Before you judge me, there are two things you should know about why I did it.”

Shana Tremain is a good kid. She knows right from wrong and she’s never been in any serious trouble. But when her best friend, Carrie, comes to her for help, Shana agrees to break the law to save Carrie from a molester. She even feels good about it — for a while.

Then trouble starts. Someone in their group of friends is stealing from the others. As she searches for the truth, Shana uncovers evidence that raises a terrifying question: Has she made a horrible mistake?

Faced with the reality of what she’s done, Shana finds herself trapped in a web of her own lies and deceit. Can she convince the right people that she’s telling the truth now? Either way it’s clear someone is going to pay a terrible price for her crime.
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Reviews for Testify

CM Magazine 


Free Teacher Resource Guide Available Here:


Testify: Teacher Resource Guide



Friday, May 20, 2011

The Glory Wind


How it happened.

The news was just on in the background that evening - I was in the other room, and only caught a snatch of a story that probably lasted less than half a minute.  It made no particular impression, but the next day it had created the beginning of an idea that would bloom into The Glory Wind.  And this is often how it is.

About the story.

Luke Haliwell must come to terms with the prejudices of his 1940's prairie town when Gracie Moor and her mother move in next door.  Gracie is unlike anyone Luke has ever known, but when the town discovers that Gracie's mother is hiding a shameful secret, Luke learns that friendship can come at a great cost.

Published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside, this story is in bookstores now.

I loved writing The Glory Wind.  I hope you will love it too.
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News Updates for The Glory Wind


Winner of the 2011 Geoffrey Bilson Historical Fiction for Young People Award

Winner of the 2011 Ann Connor Brimer Award

Winner of the Bronze Medal in the
2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards, Canadian Regional

Shortlisted for the Canadian Library Association
2011 Children's Book of the Year

Shortlisted for the 2011 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award

Ontario Library Association Best Bets List for 2010

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A few reviews of The Glory Wind:



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Accomplice

Lexie Malton has a secret.  Her ex-boyfriend, Devlin, is now a heroin addict living on the street, and only Lexie knows that she's the one who put him there.

Even worse, Lexie's guilt makes her give in to Devlin's demands for money time after time, even though she understands how dangerous his drug use is.

Lexie finally finds the strength to stop enabling Devlin.  But when Devlin seeks treatment for his addiction, Lexie finds herself drawn back to him, never guessing what a dark and deadly path she has just chosen.
_________________________________

This was an interesting story to write.  Even though my work background has brought me in contact with today's drug culture, I discovered that I knew very little about heroin use. What I learned during the course of my research truly shocked me. 

Accomplice is one of two short novels I wrote designed to be high interest stories for both avid and reluctant readers.  I've written a second book in the same category.  It's called Testify, and it will be published this August.
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Accomplice has been reviewed in:

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

As requested!





A friend recently admonished me for not keeping her updated on my new releases. She pointed out that it's difficult to keep track of all my books.  I can hardly argue with that when I often have to double-check details myself.

So, this posting is for that friend, and for anyone else who'd like to be able to access a full list of publications and the year they came out.  I'll update it whenever a new book is forthcoming, and again when it actually comes out, even if I've also blogged about that book. 

Picture Books

Down Here (Spring 2015)
Isabelle Malenfant, Illustrator
Miss Wondergem's Dreadfully Dreadful Pie (Oct. 2011)
Wendy J. Whittingham, Illustrator
There's a GOLDFISH In My Shoe! (2009)
David Jardine, Illustrator
There's a COW Under My Bed! (2008)
David Jardine, Illustrator

Middle Grade Novels

Rain Shadow (Fall 2014)
Driftwood (fall 2013)
The Glory Wind (2010)
Tumbleweed Skies (2009)

Young Adult Novels

Random Acts of Kindness (Fall 2015)
Counting Back from Nine (2012)
Testify (August 2011)
Accomplice (2011)
Watcher (2009)
Speechless (2007)
Three Million Acres of Flame (2007)
Sarah's Legacy (2006)
Sam's Light (2004)
KATE (2003)

Shelby Belgarden Mystery Series

Searching for Yesterday (2008)
Eyes of a Stalker (2006)
Hiding in Plain Sight (2005)
Chasing Shadows (2004)
In Too Deep (2003)
Out of the Ashes (2002)


Non-Fiction

Vanessa Hudgens: Superstars Series (2010)