Free Summer Read: Calmer Girls

For a limited time, grab Calmer Girls – Book 1 of 2 – FREE on Kindle or Kindle app from August 8 through August 12 right here:

http://getbook.at/CalmerGirls

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My blog’s summer hiatus is almost over.
See you all soon!

Calmer Girls is Pre-Listed!

Quicker than I had anticipated, Calmer Girls has been prelisted and is now available to pre-order on Amazon

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After moving to the city of St. John’s, sixteen-year-old Samantha Cross meets a boy with beautiful brown eyes—eyes that focus on her sister, Veronica. As Samantha falls in love with her sister’s boyfriend, one
thing becomes clear: One of the Cross sisters is in for a broken heart.

Please note: At this time, the book is available for pre-order in e-book form only. When the book is officially released on March 24th, the paperback will then become available.

Some of you have expressed an interest in the origins of the cover art.
Award-winning Fiona Jayde Media did the beautiful artwork for Calmer Girls. I couldn’t be more pleased with my publisher for acquiring the artist, along with everything they’ve done and are still doing in working with me to bring my book to light.

And of course, many thanks again to all who gave me the moral support through this blog to continue on my writing journey. Before the book’s release, I’ll return to this topic to provide a bit more background to the setting of Calmer Girls.

Things are a little hectic here for me at the moment and I will be away from my blog for a few days, so I have closed comments for this post. And next time? There are a few new photos I’m looking forward to sharing with you. 🙂

Links where you can find the book:

Amazon Canada

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon Australia

Calmer Girls

In Praise of Young Adult Fiction

I used to think I was a bit of a dork for liking Young Adult literature, even though my years as a young adult are long gone.

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Not so anymore. Although some may be too shy to admit to it or call it a guilty pleasure, YA fiction has a huge fan base among grownups; in fact, a recent study states that 55% of its readers are actually adults. And while I also choose from a variety of other genres and often crave the more literary and classic offerings as well, I particularly enjoy writing Young Adult fiction, as two of my upcoming novels will attest.

Why do I and so many others love reading YA novels? I don’t believe it implies immaturity, but rather suggests a more “young at heart” sensibility of the reader. And I am careful about not lumping all of them together; as in every genre there is great writing and not-so-great writing. With that in mind, here is what I find appealing about most of the YA and coming-of-age literature I have read:

  • It draws you in and hooks you on the first page.
  • It is usually light on the exposition and heavy on the action and dialogue.
  • The drama isn’t contrived. The teenage years, with all of its growing pains, can be filled with turmoil. Ordinary situations often feel emotional, and even catastrophic.
  • Teens are well-known to be impetuous and curious, therefore their actions are often unexpected. This opens up all sorts of drama which may include acting on violence, sexuality, and other previously uncharacteristic behaviours.
  • We’ve all been there, so we can identify with many of the common conflicts that arise. Other times, we might enjoy reading YA as an escape into wish-fulfillment: a way of righting the wrongs in our own experience.

Still not convinced to give Young Adult a try? Peruse these quotes taken from bestselling YA fiction:

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What do you think of the Young Adult genre?
Do you have any favourite YA quotes to share?

Letting my Baby Go – Tougher than I Thought

Have you ever had a plan to do something you knew all along you had to do, but when the time came, you hesitated and were filled with doubt?

196_24125258568_4360_nDo you remember the day you had to let go and trust your baby to take her first wobbly steps? Or watch him toddle off without you, to catch the bus to kindergarten for the first time? Or do you recall filling with anxiety when you gave her the keys to the family car, and she drove off by herself with her brand-new drivers licence? When these events came up in my life, I visualized a miles-long, psychological umbilical cord stretching out between us, connecting us. I wanted to hold on to my baby, nervous she might stumble, afraid he wasn’t ready, terrified she would crash and burn.

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I know, I know. I’m being dramatic. These things occur every day in people’s lives, and everything almost always turns out fine. My babies have grown up, and they both turned out great.

So I was surprised two days ago, when these emotions came back full force as I relinquished my newest baby, my completed novel, into a reader’s hands for its first critique. (You didn’t think I was referring to a real baby, did you? 😉 )

Conceived sixteen months earlier, then outlined, written, revised, and edited, my novel rested, finished at last. I knew a critique was the next necessary step. But was it truly ready? Was I letting go too soon? Had I edited, and re-edited, enough?

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I can’t let you go!

I paced. I fidgeted. I waited to hear the first damning word of criticism, or a longed-for word of praise. Tough stuff to wait for when it’s about something that consumed your thoughts and attention for so many months. And my own objectivity flew out the window weeks ago.

Happily, it was praise. My reader is now a third of the way through, and suggestions of tweaks have been miniscule. I realize he has a way to go yet, but I’m encouraged already for three reasons:

    1.  In the first sitting, he planned to read the first three chapters, but read the fourth because he said it was hard to put down. (!)

   2.  By the second chapter, he said vehemently about one of the antagonists: “I hate her!”

   3.  Even though it isn’t his usual genre (my book is geared more toward a female readership), he admitted that his interest had been captured, and I should go ahead and start the sequel I’d been considering. Yay!

So far, so good. Maybe now I can stop worrying and relax a little.

Have you ever felt on edge when you allowed someone to evaluate a creative project of yours? Please share your experiences with me!