Category Archives: Book Reviews

NET GALLEY – Download Half Dead & Fully Broken NOW! Trafalgar Approaches!

My publisher, Curiosity Quills Press, has uploaded HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN to Net Galley. Now that Burn Baby Burn Baby has been archived and is no longer available to reviewers on Net Galley, CQ has offered up Half Dead & Fully Broken on the review site for consideration.

cover2500I still love the cover for this one. My favourite colour is orange. (-: And the focus is on the title. Not the first cover rendered, but definitely my favourite. It’s a creation of Eugene Teplitsky’s. He’s not only an amazing cover designer (he is also responsible for the gorgeous Burn Baby Burn Baby cover), but he is also Managing Partner and CTO of Curiosity Quills Press. I have definitely been spoiled!

Here’s the cover blurb for HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN:

Carter Colby is the most unpopular teen at Jefferson High. This would be easier to deal with if his identical twin brother, Marcus, weren’t the hottest, most popular boy in school.

When Marcus is killed in a motorcycle accident, Carter discovers the one thing more painful than trying to compete with Mr. Wonderful: wearing his dead brother’s face. He felt invisible before the accident, but with Marcus dead, everybody turns away from him in mourning. How can he blame them? He can’t bear to look in the mirror.

When Carter begins to see Marcus’ ghost, Mr. Wonderful’s quest to save the world and spread happiness may not be over after all, even in death. Marcus knows that Justin Dewar, the boy who drove the truck that crashed into his motorbike, is struggling with the guilt of taking a life. Melanie, Marcus’ mourning girlfriend, was also hit hard by the tragedy. Marcus wants to make things right before it’s too late.

With Marcus’ help, Carter experiences love and friendship for the first time in his life. But is Mr. Wonderful’s helping hand enough for Carter, Melanie, and Justin – three kids fully broken by the tragedy – to save one another?

For those who take CQ up on their offer, please note that I am currently working on a Book #2 to the CARTER COLBY story. ALIVE & KICKING is almost completed. (-:

Click on the picture below to go directly to NET GALLEY to download the title. That’s correct…no need to click a REQUEST button this time around. You can DOWNLOAD this one right away:

Click this picture to be taken to Net Galley to download a review copy of HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN...

Click this picture to be taken to Net Galley to download a review copy of HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN…

Here’s HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN ON GOODREADS

Here’s HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN ON AMAZON

Half Dead is available wherever paperback or ebooks are sold!


While I have your attention, I wanted to make one more quick mention of TRAFALGAR 24…on this, my last full day of freedom prior to being locked inside the castle!

One of the beautiful sights the castle has to offer to a wandering playwright in the middle of the night...

One of the beautiful sights the castle has to offer to a wandering playwright in the middle of the night…

Tomorrow night will be a sleepless one for me. But being locked inside Trafalgar Castle in Whitby, Ontario, has its perks. It’s a beautiful thought-provoking space in which to pen a 10-minute play. I am filled with fear, doubt, anxiety, excitement, joy, wonder, intrigue…you name it. That time before heading to the castle is electric with possibility. I get to SPEND THE NIGHT in the castle. I get to manically write a play that will be performed less than 24 hours after the words are out. It’s such an amazing time…my favourite writing event of the year.

Trafalgar Castle in Whitby, as the sun comes up on a previous Trafalgar 24 all-night playwriting event! The playwrights, like elves, leave the castle at 6am...to make way for the actors and directors...

Trafalgar Castle in Whitby, as the sun comes up on a previous Trafalgar 24 all-night playwriting event! The playwrights, like elves, leave the castle at 6am…to make way for the actors and directors…

If you’re in the market for a fabulous Friday night, you should check out the ticket situation. But be quick…this event sells out every year. Click on the picture below to be taken to the Driftwood Theatre website to buy tickets:

Trafalgar-24-header-2015-wide-fb-759x280Enjoy HALF DEAD!

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Net Galley – Request Burn Baby Burn Baby Now!

My publisher has offered Burn Baby Burn Baby up on Net Galley…for a limited time. If you’re a book blogger-book tuber-book reviewer, you can now request a copy for review consideration on the popular site.

NetGalleySimply click on the green REQUEST button and await approval.

I’ve been a member on Net Galley for a couple of years now. I have always loved getting ARCs for review from the site. I was not aware that they also carry recently published titles. Now I know. I put in a few requests myself. (-:

CLICK HERE TO GO TO NET GALLEY! If you’re already on Net Galley, you will simply need to sign in and request the title. You will find Burn Baby Burn Baby in the TEENS & YA category.

Happy Reading!

Some recent praise for Burn Baby Burn Baby:

“I’m putting this book right up there alongside Laurie Halse Anderson’s TWISTED, and John Green’s LOOKING FOR ALASKA.”

“I was unable to put it down and ended up reading the whole book in one sitting.”

“BURN BABY, BURN BABY pulls you in from the opening pages and doesn’t let go.”

“This should be a movie.”

“Francis was right. It reads like a movie, and I hope Hollywood is paying attention. With so many other fine YA books going to the movies, I hope we get to see one or more of Kevin’s works up on the big screen, big as life.”

“I loved the relationship between Francis and Rachel. It reminded me of Eleanor and Park. They seem to be such opposites at first, but as you read, you’ll understand their attraction is much deeper than their affinity for Shakespeare in the park (a section I absolutely loved!).”

“Kevin Craig takes this story to places I never expected and touched my heart. Kevin blended bullying with a story and characters that we care about and feel for and the book hit all the marks without preaching. I highly recommend this book, especially to fellow young adult book lovers; however, I think non YA readers can truly appreciate this story as well.”

“This book blew me away. Blew. Me. Away.”

“There are few books I like reading more than once, but this is going on to that list.”

“My emotions were all over the map on this book: I went from happiness, to anger, to frustrated, to horror with every page I turned. I could easily picture this novel as a movie, as Francis was quite often doing, and I feel that I actually knew a few of these kids when they attended my high school back in the day. “

You can purchase a copy of Burn Baby Burn Baby at any Amazon worldwide, at Barnes & Noble, at Chapters, at Kobo, and, most places books are sold.

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Team Carter Begins in 4 Days. Change Everything (MNM, MaleSurvivor)

I’m getting excited about the arrival of my 5th novel, HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN. I remember with great fondness writing this one at the 2010 Muskoka Novel Marathon! I’m sure you’ve heard all about this marathon by now. It takes place in a small town in Northern Ontario…but its reputation has now gained something of an international notoriety. For those of you NOT acquainted with the marathon, I will share with you now the movie created to celebrate it. This movie aired on national television here in Canada. It’s comprised 100% of still images, but looks like live action. It’s really quite amazing. I can’t even remember the amount of still shots gone in to make this movie. Here it is, for your viewing pleasure:

So, basically, 30ish writers get together over a 72hour long weekend. We each write a novel. We sleep, we eat, we laugh, we cry, we angst, we shout, we sing, we get stupid, we write, we write, we write. We also each come in with sponsors. It’s a marathon to raise funds for literacy. And raise funds, we do. In 2014 alone, we raised over $21,000.00 for literacy programs in Muskoka/Simcoe County.

Half Dead is the story of Carter Colby, and his dead twin Marcus. I will include the synopsis at the end of this post. While writing this story, I was in a completely overwhelmed with emotions. It was a thrilling roller coaster ride discovering the story while I frantically wrote into the night into the morning into the afternoon into the night into the morning into the afternoon into…you get the picture. From beginning to end in 72 hours, just rushing through the story to find out what happens next. My favourite way to write. I hope I caught something in the story worth the time of my readers. I feel like I did. I cried while writing the ending. That’s usually a pretty good sign. (-:

While I have you, I like to mention an organization that has helped me in the most profound way. It’s an organization that continually saves lives. MALE SURVIVOR. Their tagline, for those who are unfamiliar with the organization, is MaleSurvivor provides critical resources to male survivors of sexual trauma and all their partners in recovery by building communities of Hope, Healing, & Support.

Below, you can watch their video entitled WHAT IS MALE SURVIVOR:

Through attending 2 of their Weekend of Recovery retreats, I count myself among those saved by Weekend of Recovery. They made me realize that I had the power to change everything. Only when one is willing to work on past pain, can one eventually become free of it. Please consider this my semi-regular shout-out to Male Survivor. If you are a victim of sexual abuse, or know someone who is, there is no need to suffer in silence. Seek help. If not from MaleSurvivor, then from an organization in your area. The more we raise our voices against sexual abuse, the more resources we will have to combat its effects. You are not alone. And it is not your fault. Rebirth is just a step away. Having waited over 30 years to take that step, I know intimately how difficult it is to take it. But I promise you, it gets better once you take that first step. The road to recovery from the all-encompassing and devastating effects of sexual abuse is right there…just waiting.

So, here’s the cover for HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN. You can click on it to go to Amazon, where it is already available for PRE-ORDER:

51OeS9ITAHL._AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-46,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_The story goes like this:

Carter Colby is the most unpopular teen at Jefferson High. This would be easier to deal with if his identical twin brother, Marcus, weren’t the hottest, most popular boy in school.

When Marcus is killed in a motorcycle accident, Carter discovers the one thing more painful than trying to compete with Mr. Wonderful: wearing his dead brother’s face. He felt invisible before the accident, but with Marcus dead, everybody turns away from him in mourning. How can he blame them? He can’t bear to look in the mirror.

When Carter begins to see Marcus’ ghost, Mr. Wonderful’s quest to save the world and spread happiness may not be over after all, even in death. Marcus knows that Justin Dewar, the boy who drove the truck that crashed into his motorbike, is struggling with the guilt of taking a life. Melanie, Marcus’ mourning girlfriend, was also hit hard by the tragedy. Marcus wants to make things right before it’s too late.

With Marcus’ help, Carter experiences love and friendship for the first time in his life. But is Mr. Wonderful’s helping hand enough for Carter, Melanie, and Justin – three kids fully broken by the tragedy – to save one another?

Half Dead comes out on Monday January 19th. It will be my 5th published novel. It was also my 3rd of 4 BEST NOVEL AWARD wins at the Muskoka Novel Marathon. I am absurdly proud of my wins at the MNM. If you pick up #HDAFB, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. And I also hope that, at one point or another, you cry like a baby. (-: Looking forward to your indoctrination into #TeamCarter (-;

In other news, my BURN BABY BURN BABY is getting the most incredible reviews I’ve ever had. It was released last month and has had a steady stream of beautiful praise that has left me speechless. You can check out Burn Baby Burn Baby on Amazon by clicking the book cover below:

51Wb19wCHtL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_You can find all my books on GOODREADS RIGHT HERE.

Remember one thing…you have the power to change everything. No matter what it is. Either for yourself or for others. Don’t be afraid to use that power.

I leave you with the song that began to play while I walked into my first MALE SURVIVOR WEEKEND OF RECOVERY. It gutted me like nothing ever gutted me before or after. The anxiety I was feeling, dealing with uncovering a lifetime of darkness, might have had something to deal with it. But I still can’t listen to this song without shattering. It came to me at the moment of my first step. I knew it was going to be one of the hardest weekends of my life. And I also knew, as I listened to this song, that it would be my rebirth.

MAKE CHANGE HAPPEN.

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On the (Almost) Eve of Release Day – Novel Number Five – Feeling Half Dead and Fully Broken

13 Days. Less than two weeks. That’s when my 5th novel will be published. Between you and me, it’s also my personal favourite! HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN wrote itself. No surprise, but it was yet another Muskoka Novel Marathon novel. I wrote it in 72 hours. It’s my fourth marathon novel to be published. And it’s also one of the four that won BEST NOVEL AWARD at the marathon. Half Dead won Best YOUNG ADULT Novel…way back in 2010. That well and truly feels like a lifetime ago from where I’m standing at the moment.

Background on Half Dead? One of my readers recently pointed out to me that I have twins in practically everything I write. This is something I actually wasn’t even aware of. I don’t know how one doesn’t become aware of something so glaringly obvious as that? It unhinges me. Another example of my habit of going through life with blinders on. Not always a huge plot point, I have nonetheless sprinkled most of my novels with the presence of twins.

Where was I? Yes…background. So Half Dead & Fully Broken is the story of identical twin brothers Carter and Marcus Colby. One is the most popular boy in school, the other is the least popular–showing that looks are only one of the deciding factors that go into creating the hierarchy of popularity.

Carter is the story’s narrator. He is also the surviving brother. It’s not a spoiler to tell you that Marcus doesn’t make it. In fact, Carter will let you know this fact on PAGE 1. The story is really about what happens after DEAD Marcus comes back.

For the record, if your twin ever dies, be prepared. It’s out of this world freaky when a dead guy looks exactly like you in every way. A lot creepier than you can ever imagine when they actually come back. But, hey, he is my brother. I can’t turn my back on family just because he’s dead. Believe me, though, I thought about it.

Carter is a bitter sarcastic guy who is sadly misunderstood. (-: His amazing brother, even dead, is there for him. Marcus is one of those guys EVERYBODY loves. When he sees an injustice, he works to correct it. No surprise he carried on this noble trait even after death. The twins kind of team up to right the wrongs created in a moment of bad decision-making. Fallout is a terrible thing to live through…unless you’re lucky enough to have a guardian angel on your side.

Here’s the synopsis for HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN:

Carter Colby is the most unpopular teen in school. This would be easier to deal with if his identical twin brother, Marcus, weren’t the hottest, most popular boy in school. Sharing a face with Mr. I-can-do-anything-better-than-you, Mr. Helpful, Mr. Reliable, Mr. Freaking Wonderful—it’s not as easy as it sounds. When Marcus is killed in a motorcycle accident, Carter discovers there are things even harder to deal with than trying to compete with Mr. Wonderful…and that’s sharing a face with a dead Mr. Wonderful. Nobody wants to see Carter now that he’s walking around with Marcus’s face. He felt invisible before the accident, but with Marcus dead he sees everybody turn away from him in mourning. But how can he blame them, he can’t even bear to look in the mirror anymore.

But Marcus has a plan. Even dead, he’s still up for saving the world and spreading happiness. Carter begins to see Marcus’s ghost and Marcus has a few magic tricks up his sleeve to share with his brother. But there’s a reason for his presence. Marcus knows that Justin Dewar, the boy who drove the truck that crashed into his motorbike when Marcus ran a red light, is struggling with the guilt of taking a life. Marcus’s plan is to put everything right before it’s too late and all is lost. But he needs Carter to help him…he needs to use Carter’s body to bring his plan into action. It may sound hard, but it really isn’t. He just has to slither inside and take the helm of his brother’s body. Once inside, the two become the superhero Carter once dreamed of being as a child.

With Marcus’s help, Carter experiences love and friendship for the first time in his life. Marcus, even in death, has the power to do the right thing. He brings Carter together with Melanie, his mourning girlfriend, and Justin, the boy who drove the truck that plowed into his motorbike. The three are all broken after the accident, but with Marcus’s help they just might be saved. It’s a race to save the distraught Justin, though. With Marcus’s help, Carter and Melanie set out to do just that. And along the journey to saving Justin, they might even inadvertently save themselves.

HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN releases on January 19th, but you can pre-order with 1-CLICK on Amazon today! Click the cover below:

51OeS9ITAHL._AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-46,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

I’m kind of stunned that HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN is finally getting published. It’s my absolute favourite so far! I loved loved loved writing it. The most fun I ever had writing a novel. And I’m almost finished a BOOK 2 too. ALIVE & KICKING is another Carter Colby story. It’s darker and more dangerous…but just as much fun to write. Here’s hoping it will one day be available to my readers. (-:

Meanwhile, BURN BABY BURN BABY got another amazing review today on Amazon! This one from a soon-to-be teacher who said they’d love to use BBBB in their curriculum. You can check out all the reviews at Amazon and 1-CLICK Burn Baby Burn Baby too. Just click on the cover below:

51Wb19wCHtL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

From the latest review, mentioned above: “I plan to be a teacher someday and I definitely see myself using this book in my lessons to teach about bullying, acceptance, and compassion.” To visit the full review on the reviewer’s blog go to: TINA, THE BOOKWORM

Hashtags: #BurnBabyBurnBaby and #HDAFB

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