99 Cent Sale for the Amazon Kindle or Kobo of My Novel THE CAMINO CLUB!

I don’t know how long this is going to be available, but AMAZON and Kobo are currently having a 99¢ sale for the Kindle/ebook versions of my young adult novel THE CAMINO CLUB! (PURCHASE LINKS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST!)

Michael and I arriving at the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela at the end of our own Camino in September 2019! I wrote The Camino Club after my first Camino in May of 2014.

This award winning novel places six teens on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route across Spain. Think of a more diverse THE BREAKFAST CLUB but instead of taking place in a school library over the course of a Saturday, it takes place across a country while the delinquent detentioners face the struggles of hiking through mountains and villages and vineyards.

The Camino Club was the Silver Winner of the 33rd annual Independent Book Publishers Association’s Benjamin Franklin Book Award!

Here’s the synopsis of THE CAMINO CLUB:

After getting in trouble with the law, a group of wayward teens are given an ultimatum: serve time in juvenile detention for their crimes or walk the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage across Spain over the summer holidays with a pair of court-appointed counselors. Although they come from diverse backgrounds, the unlikely friends try to make the best of their situation. The pilgrims grow closer on their journey, but they may not make it to their destination—the Cathedral in Santiago. If they do, will they each find what they’re looking for, and will their newfound friendships endure?

The Camino Club is from Duet Book, the LGBTQ YA imprint of Chicago Review Press!

For a limited time, you can pick up the Kindle/ebook versions of this young adult novel on Amazon/Kobo for $0.99 (price varies with country)! I don’t know how long this will last, as this is a sale my publisher, Chicago Review Press, has instigated.

Here are some purchase links:

THE CAMINO CLUB on AMAZON USA

THE CAMINO CLUB on AMAZON CANADA

THE CAMINO CLUB on AMAZON UK

THE CAMINO CLUB on KOBO USA

THE CAMINO CLUB on KOBO CANADA

THE CAMINO CLUB on KOBO UK

Check ebook platforms in your country for sale details!

 

 

See You in September…

I think we’ve established that I write about my September every year. For some reason, it seems to be my busiest and/or most exciting month. Thinking about this, I just realized how many songs there are about September. Like, A LOT of them! It’s even possible it’s the most sung about month of the year.

See you in September. Do you remember the 21st night of September? You were my September song, tell me where have you gone? Come September, everything wrong gonna be alright.  Oh, I watch myself depending on September when it comes. Ring out the bells again like we did when spring began, wake me up when September ends. It’s going to be September now, for many years to come, every heart adjusting to the strict September drum.

Perhaps, as Leonard Cohen sang, my heart is adjusted to the beat of September’s drum.

At any rate, here’s my annual September post! It’s a busy one this year!

⊗September 13th, I complete another trip around the sun. Hard to believe I will be turning 56 this time. I guess this puts me somewhere into the September of my life. The weather is still beautiful, but you begin to get the hints of the passing of the season. It’s the crispness in the morning, the tang of leaves realizing it is soon time for them to let go, the burning sun lighting up the sky with a special brightness even though its heat is not quite as severe as it once was. There are a million signs that appear in September, warning us that the calendar is slowing drawing its curtains on another year. Even the official end of summer lands in this month. Not to mention, it’s the first BER month.

Like the year on a calendar, we all wind down. I think 56 in human years is a good estimation of the September of one’s life. Right? Things are still good–still great–but you’re getting hints of the impending changes.

Even though it goes against everything that would make sense, September might in fact be my favourite month. SUMMER is my season. Hot, hot, hot…that’s my favourite temperature. And September comes in with the knowing and dreaded whisper, “Summer is dying. The halcyon days will soon be over.” September prepares me, against my wishes (and better judgement), for the coming ugliness of winter. And yet, it’s still the most magical of months.

⊗SEPTEMBER 7th. Let’s rewind a few days! The 7th is the beginning of this year’s magic! That’s the day we board a plane for Portugal. We fly into Lisbon and then take a second flight to Porto, where we will begin a truncated version of the Senda Litoral Route of the Caminho Português (Portuguese Camino, The Portuguese Way, Camino Portugués)! Due to time constraints, we cannot start at the customary beginning point in Lisbon. Here’s our itinerary, which begins on September 10th after a couple of days in Porto:

We will be travelling with John Brierley once again. I think a LOT of pilgrims travel with Brierley’s guides. It almost feels de rigueur at this point.
Porto – Vila Do Conde – 33.9km
Vila Do Conde – Esposende – 26.4km
Esposende – Viana do Castelo – 27.3km
Viana do Castelo – Caminha – 27.1km
Caminha – Baiona – 31.2km
Baiona – Vigo – 26.8km
Vigo – Ponte Samaio – 24.5km
Ponte Sampaio – Caldas de Reis – 33.3km
Caldas de Reis – A Picarana – 28.4km
A Picarana – Santiago de Compostela – 16km
Santiago de Compostela back to Porto by bus.

I’ll wake up in Viana do Castelo on my birthday, and make my way to Caminha. As we walk this leg of the Camino, something else will take place. The release of my 8th novel!

Book of Dreams drops on the 13th of September as we’re walking somewhere along the coast of Portugal having, hopefully, the time of our lives!

The Book.

We don’t come back to Canada until September 25th. The better part of my September this year will unfold in Europe, as we walk the Portuguese coast up into Spain and into the city of Santiago de Compostela. I’ll be arriving at the Cathedral for the 3rd time (previously, I arrived there from the Camino Frances in 2014 & 2019). From there, we will spend some time in Santiago before returning to Porto for a few days. Much is planned, from a Douro Valley Port wine tour, to gastronomical adventures in and around the city.

My September stops quietly back in Toronto, where I will be preparing for my October 1st BOOK OF DREAMS book signing event at the Oshawa Centre Chapters-Indigo bookstore(click this link to learn all about the details of the event)!

If you haven’t yet read the book I wrote after my first experience on the Camino de Santiago, you can read more about THE CAMINO CLUB here(it’s the first book on the Books page of this website).

2 books, 2 years apart!

Now we just have to wait for the calendar to flip over another page!

Come September, everything wrong gonna be alright.  Oh, I watch myself depending on September when it comes...

 

The Inception Point – The First Thoughts for The Camino Club…

I just came across an article I wrote in 2014 for the WCDR Wordweaver. After reading it, I was surprised to see mention of my future novel, THE CAMINO CLUB. I didn’t know I had formed the idea for the novel so early. I mean, part of me did…but this article from June 11th 2014 definitely proves it! Wow. I really did carry that novel with me for a while. It released on October 6th, 2020, but I walked with it in my head in May, 2014 as I walked a portion of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route across Spain.

The article, as it appeared in the WCDR Wordweaver in 2014. I loved the layout so much!!

Here’s the article:

✸ ✸ ✸ ✸ ✸ ✸

The Camino de Santiago – Walk Now, Write Later…

by Kevin Craig

Pilgrims have been walking the Camino de Santiago since medieval times. All the Camino routes lead to the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, where the remains of the apostle St. James are said to be buried.

I recently walked the Camino from Ponferrada to Santiago and grossly underestimated its power. Naively, I thought I would be able to write while on my journey. I even contemplated leading others through writing exercises. I strapped a brightly coloured journal to my backpack and planned to fill it with the wonder I was to encounter there.

On day one, prior to that first step, I sat in our hotel lobby and began to write. The entry was filled with the eager anticipation I had of taking those opening footsteps with my fellow peregrinos (pilgrims). The entry took up a quarter of a page. I made it short, as I was enamored with the oversized contraption filled with fresh oranges and colorful gadgetry in my periphery. I quickly learned it made orange juice. A Willy Wonky moment! I was in the Chocolate Factory.

I never opened my journal again.

I always talk about writers writing when they’re not writing. On the Camino, I lived this belief. I struck out on the path as a child, filled with wonder. After a glass of orange juice, made from a magical contraption, I knew immediately I was off to see the Wizard.

I’m now certain the Wizard of Oz is a parable for the Camino. I followed not the yellow brick road, but yellow arrows. I walked not with the lion and the Tin Man, but with my fellow peregrinos. We were all looking for something, and we all had unwavering faith we would find it once we arrived in the mystical city of Oz.

Like Dorothy, I met many people along the way. But I’m a writer. Whether I walked in solitary or in a group, I always clung to that kernel of need; I must write about this. I must share this experience in words.

On the day we walked up a steep mountain pass of jagged rocks and mud, I began to form my 2014 Muskoka Novel Marathon novel idea. While walking I thought, ‘a YA novel about a group of inner-city kids in trouble. They each have to choose—face the serious consequences of their actions or walk the Camino.’ The idea formed as I walked barefoot through mud and pine needles. I was giddy from the splashing, the cushion-y comfort of needles, and the powerful aroma of the eucalyptus forest surrounding me.

As the Camino is wont to do, it later gave me a timely present. Two Irish women walked up and started talking to me about barefoot walking. They had already met my fearless Camino mentor, Sue Kenney. After a few minutes, we got into what they were there for. They had brought a group of teens. They offered numerous insights into how those teens viewed the Camino. Novel research! Practically wrapped in a bow.

I walked some breathtakingly beautiful terrain. Some of it seemed impossible, but the Camino gives you what you need to finish the trip. And in the end, you walk into Oz (Santiago) and you wake up from your dream. You arrive at the Wizard’s castle (the cathedral) and you look around you. All the faces are familiar. They are all old friends from far away. And you stand in the square and you say, “I had a dream!” And you point and say, “You were in it! And you were in it! And you were there, too!”

✸ ✸ ✸ ✸ ✸ ✸

The novel I wrote about in the above article, THE CAMINO CLUB, is now available to read!

THE CAMINO CLUB (Duet Books/Chicago Review Press) After getting in trouble with the law, six wayward teens are given an ultimatum: serve time in juvenile detention for their crimes, or walk the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route across Spain over the summer holidays with a pair of court-appointed counselor guides. When it becomes clear the long walk isn’t really all that much of an option, they set out on a journey that will either make or break who they are and who they are to become.

Amazon USA | Amazon Canada | Chicago Review Press | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Book Depository | BookShop | Indigo-Chapters | IndieBound | Kobo USA | Kobo Canada | Interlude Press/Duet Books | WalMart USA | Target | Blackwell’s (UK) | Booktopia (Aus) | APPLE Books | Goodreads

ARC Arrival! Book of Dreams is One Step Closer to its Release!

I received the ARC of Book of Dreams yesterday! For those who are not familiar with the acronym, an ARC is an Advanced Reader Copy. They print these prior to the final (final) (final) edits and before the finished novel goes to print…to send out copies for advance reviews/praise. Those reading the ARCs for this purpose realize that what they are holding is only a near finished copy. Usually they are told not to quote passages, as there is a possibility the words in the passage could change prior to the printing of the final version of the book.

The ARC is one of the next to last steps in the evolution of the Idea-to-Manuscript-to-Novel journey. It’s very exciting for the author to get to hold one in their hand…a realization of the kernel of idea brought to fruition. The ARC comes after a long arduous journey. By the time I get the ARC in my hands, I’ve probably read my manuscript 50, 60, 70 times. That might be a slight exaggeration(?) but it does not feel like one.

At any rate, it is HERE!

The ARC! Book of Dreams is on its way!

This book has had a long and sometimes treacherous journey! It began as nothing more than a TITLE at the onset of the 2014 Muskoka Novel Marathon(click here to learn more about the marathon). This weekend novel writing marathon, where Book of Dreams was born, was a full 8 years ago! During the 72 hour marathon, I wrote about 30,000 words of Book of Dreams. One attempts to finish an entire first draft at this marathon (and I have done so on occasion), but as I was writing in a new-to-me genre I was taking it slow and easy.

My manuscript received an Honorable Mention in that year’s marathon. I was well on my way! Then I shelved the book for several years while I worked on more pressing ideas. But the kids in this novel kept coming back to me. I had left them in a perilous situation and after a while I thought maybe they deserved to be written out of that corner they were in. So I dove back in. Books have so many different paths. Sometimes they come all at once and your fingers struggle to keep up with the flow of the book that takes place in your mind. And sometimes they die a slow death or ask to be left alone a while as they percolate.

Last year, I knew it was time to pick up Book of Dreams again. Its characters called to me continuously. So I listened. I finished their story.

And here we are. 8 years have passed since I wrote the title at the top of a blank page one. In just over a month the book I started with the ambiguous first sentence, “I’m trapped in my bedroom again, waiting impatiently for the screaming to end.” will be in bookstores and available for all to read. It’s a scary concept! Putting a book into the world, is putting a piece of yourself into the world. And once it’s out there, it is also no longer yours and there’s nothing you can do about it.

2 books, 2 years apart!

On October 6th, 2020, my first book with Duet Books landed into the world. The Camino Club went on to become the Silver Winner of the Independent Book Publishers Association’s Benjamin Franklin Award! It really has been a bit of the little engine that could. It had a nice momentum behind it and I loved seeing it pop up in the world. At the time of The Camino Club‘s release, Duet was the YA imprint of Interlude Press. Interlude has since sold to Chicago Review Press. Both Interlude and Duet are now LGBTQ imprints of CRP. Duet is YA and Interlude is ADULT. Book of Dreams is in extremely good hands! Almost two years apart, my second Duet Books will be out on September 13th, 2022! This date is ALSO my birthday, and I couldn’t think of a nicer birthday gift!

With my ARC in hand, and the final version of the novel already off to the printers, we are all set for the launch!

You can pre-order Book of Dreams wherever books are sold. I’ll leave a few links at the bottom of this post for easy clicking, but you can also order directly from your favourite independent bookstore.

BOOK OF DREAMS (Duet Books/Chicago Review Press, SEPTEMBER 13th, 2022) EBOOK NOW AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER!

Gaige’s curiosity gets the better of him when he discovers a bookstore on an abandoned street where no bookstore should be. He steps inside and is immediately enthralled by its antiquarian sights and smells. But one book in particular calls to him. It isn’t long before he gets a bad feeling about it, but it’s already too late. The store’s aged bookseller gives him no alternative: once he touches the book, it’s his—whether he wants it or not. It’s bought and paid for and there are no returns. The book leads Gaige on a horrific descent into the unknown. As he falls into the depths of its pages, he loses blocks of time, and his friends become trapped inside ancient cellars with seemingly no means of escape. Gaige soon learns that the ancient bookseller is a notorious serial killer from a previous century, and fears that he has fallen into a predicament from which he may not escape. When all seems lost, he finds the one person he can turn to for help—Mael, a sweet teen also trapped inside the book who didn’t fall for the bookseller’s tricks. Together, they race against time to protect Gaige from joining a long string of boys who vanished without a trace inside the Book of Dreams.

AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER WHEREVER BOOKS ARE SOLD! Also, put Book of Dreams on your Goodreads shelf!

Amazon USA | Amazon Canada | Chicago Review Press Print | Chicago Review Press Ebook | Barnes & Noble | Interlude Press | Kobo USA | Kobo Canada | IndieBound | Blackwell’s | Booktopia | Book Depository | APPLE Books | Goodreads

Did Somebody Say Cake? Tarta de Santiago…

“Hey, you know what I’d really like to do?
Say wha’?
I feel like makin’ a cake
Ooh wah, what kind of cake do you want?
Umm, how about, pineapple upside-down cake?
Maybe a chocolate devil’s food cake
Wah, nothin’ like a chocolate devil’s food cake
Ooh, how about an angel cake?
Umm, some cinnamon?” ~ B-52s, CAKE (from the album Mesopotamia, 1982)
Still one of my all-time favourite B-52s albums and it wasn’t even a full album. Mesopotamia was an EP, filled with fabulosity!
But…I’m not here for music right now. I’m here to share a cake recipe. I won’t get angry if you listen to CAKE while making a cake, though.
As part of my Camino de Santiago obsession, I brought home a bit of the Camino with me with the Tarta de Santiago! It’s a little almond cake available all along the Camino route. The original version has only 3 ingredients and is quite dense and squat. You can find that recipe online. Just search 3 ingredient Camino Cake, or something like that.
Stamps, collected on the Camino Frances, 2019.
I bring a lot of things home from my Caminos…
A Camino ring…with the shell, a symbol of the Camino…
I wanted to share the one CAKE I have made several times. It’s a bastardized version that still tastes a little like the memories I carry of the Camino…
Tarta de Santiago

Complete with the St. James Cross outlined with icing sugar!

With the recipe below, you can add slight flavour flourishes of choice to make delicate changes to the end product. Think orange zest, raspberry puree and something to that end. It’s a good recipe to tailor make your own final cake, according to your own personal taste.

Tarta de Santiago(ish)

Recipe

  • 2 2/3 Cup Blanched Almonds*
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 1 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • Unsalted Butter (1 Stick)(or 8 tablespoons)
  • 3/4 Cup Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • Powdered Sugar – for Cross Decorating

*Big Asterik Energy! Blanched Almonds. You can buy them blanched. If you didn’t, you can blanche them yourself. BIG alternative option…I buy almond flour at Costco. No blanching, no food processoring.

How to Make your Cake:

  • Almonds: How to blanche your almonds. Honey, the only Blanche I know is Blanche DuBois and she’s as blanchey blanche blanche as they come. It’s 2022, please don’t blanche your almonds. Either buy them blanched or do what I do. Use almond flour. Google tells me that you get approximately 1 ¼ cups of almond flour using 1 cup blanched almonds. You can do the math and use the appropriate amount of almond flour. Let’s do away with the food processor and make things easier. If you do choose to process your almonds, select FINE and grind them down. Then set it aside.
  • Heat the oven to 350° F and grease an 8 or 9 inch springform pan. Or, if you don’t have springform, use a regular pan like me.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar
  • Add butter (softened), flour, baking powder and water. Beat with an electric hand mixer (or with the strength of the two hands the good lawd gave ya) until well combined.
  • Slowly stir in and mix the almonds (at this point let’s just call it almond flour…I hope no one actually went through the business of preparing their own almonds!) Slowly stir in and mix the almond flour.
  • Add the lemon zest and blend in thoroughly. Here’s the part where you can substitute. Change the lemon zest to orange zest or another subtle flavour you would prefer to test-drive.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes (my mother would READ ME FOR FILTH and SLAY ME TO DEATH for using the word ABOUT in a recipe, I promise you that!) My oven runs a little on the cold side, so I keep an eye on it. Use a toothpick to test…insert in centre of the cake and if it comes out clean it’s ready.
  • Let cool (This is important if you want to add the St. James Cross flourish.)
  • Find a St. James Cross cutout online. You MUST make this with something heavier than paper if you want an easy go at it. Cut it out in a thin cardboard if possible. Place the cross in the middle of the cake and use a sifter to sprinkle icing sugar all over the top of the cake and the cutout. Very delicately remove the cutout and you should have the cross outlined in the centre of the cake. (You can also use anything your heart desires as a cutout if this is for an occasion.)

There you have it… something along the lines of a Tarta de Santiago. It’s NOT authentic, but it’s still a very nice cake. Not too sweet… just right.

No cross required. You can cover the top of the cake in almonds instead.
or what have you…
Michael and I, while on our 2019 Camino Frances Camino, with the lovely Angela of Albergue A Reboleira in Fonfría!

If you haven’t read my Camino novel, THE CAMINO CLUB, yet… it’s available wherever books are sold. It’s a young adult novel. If you’ve walked the Camino, this book will take you back to the beauty of that walk. If you haven’t walked the Camino, this book will make you place it onto your bucketlist!

Here’s a few links:

Amazon USA | Amazon Canada | Chicago Review Press | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Book Depository | BookShop | Indigo-Chapters | IndieBound | Kobo USA | Kobo Canada | Interlude Press/Duet Books | WalMart USA | Target | Blackwell’s (UK) | Booktopia (Aus) | APPLE Books | Goodreads

 

The Camino Club ARC Anniversary!

So, two years ago today something magical came in the mail! The Advance Reader Copies ARCs of The Camino Club! It was such an exciting day for me! Though my 7th novel, it’s the first one with a bigger publisher and, therefore, ARCs. And what gorgeous ARCs they were!

From the cover design to the interior, I am still madly in love with what my publisher (CB MESSER, of Interlude Press/Duet Books) did with The Camino Club. Such lovely details. I felt like I was losing my mind with excitement as I flipped through the pages.

I can’t begin to explain how much I love every little thing about the design. It’s still perfect, after two years. What surprises me is that I didn’t keep any of the ARCs for myself. I do have one final copy of the book at home, though.

On this 2nd anniversary of THE CAMINO CLUB ARC arrival, I just know that my next book is soon to arrive. It went out to the printer a while ago and it’s only a matter of time! Book of Dreams is almost here!

Releasing to the world on September 13th, Book of Dreams is destined to arrive on my doorstep any time now. I have such amazing news about this book and I have been sitting on it for so long that it’s burning a hole in my soul! The very second I get the okay to share this news, I will be screaming it from the rooftops.

Have you pre-ordered your copy of BOOK OF DREAMS yet? If you are local to the GTA, you may want to wait for an as yet announced author signing to take place sometime in September. This will be after my return from walking the Camino de Santiago from Porto, Portugal to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. I am out of country from Sept 7th to Sept 23rd. Yes, that’s right…I’ll be walking the Portuguese Camino on the day my book releases! This was NOT planned. The original release was May, 2022. The Camino was booked long ago and when the release date changed, my plans were already carved in stone. So look for a book signing sometime late in September or early in October.

You can PRE-ORDER BOOK OF DREAMS wherever books are sold. Here’s some links:

Amazon USA | Amazon Canada | Chicago Review Press Print | Chicago Review Press Ebook | Barnes & Noble | Interlude Press | Kobo USA | Kobo Canada | IndieBound | Blackwell’s | Booktopia | Book Depository | APPLE Books |

Here’s the description for BOOK OF DREAMS:

BOOK OF DREAMS (Duet Books/Chicago Review Press, SEPTEMBER 13th, 2022) EBOOK NOW AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER!

Gaige’s curiosity gets the better of him when he discovers a bookstore on an abandoned street where no bookstore should be. He steps inside and is immediately enthralled by its antiquarian sights and smells. But one book in particular calls to him. It isn’t long before he gets a bad feeling about it, but it’s already too late. The store’s aged bookseller gives him no alternative: once he touches the book, it’s his—whether he wants it or not. It’s bought and paid for and there are no returns. The book leads Gaige on a horrific descent into the unknown. As he falls into the depths of its pages, he loses blocks of time, and his friends become trapped inside ancient cellars with seemingly no means of escape. Gaige soon learns that the ancient bookseller is a notorious serial killer from a previous century, and fears that he has fallen into a predicament from which he may not escape. When all seems lost, he finds the one person he can turn to for help—Mael, a sweet teen also trapped inside the book who didn’t fall for the bookseller’s tricks. Together, they race against time to protect Gaige from joining a long string of boys who vanished without a trace inside the Book of Dreams.

Although I won’t share the cool interior design of BOOK OF DREAMS just yet, I will share the EPIGRAPH and the DEDICATION. Here they are…

EPIGRAPH
DEDICATION

A Snippet Scene with The Camino Club Characters Diego & Shania!

In September 2020, I shared an outtake from my then upcoming novel, THE CAMINO CLUB, with the YOUNG ADULT LITERARY JOURNAL, VOYAGE!

I’m sharing that snippet here today. If you read THE CAMINO CLUB, you will remember the Queimada ceremony my group of teens experienced in Fonfría. What you would not have read was a cute moment that happened with Diego and Shania after the Queimada.

If you haven’t yet read THE CAMINO CLUB, it’s never too late to start! You can buy it wherever books are sold! Or check your local library! OR, there will be some buy links after the outtake which I will share below:

Diego Nelson in Fonfría, after the Queimada

After we drink the amazing potion Rosa and Paulo concocted, we dance our asses off until we’re all glistening with sweat. It’s the best. Even though I know the alcohol was burned off when Paulo lit the cauldron of potion aflame, I feel like I’m buzzing on a high. We all are. Glazed eyes everywhere. High on life, we are.

When I can’t dance anymore, I get Shania’s attention and nod towards the door. The cool night air beyond would be perfect right now. It would definitely douse the drink of fire that banishes evil. Ha.

Shan gives me a thumb’s up and we make our way to the door. People are everywhere, dancing in a conga line, worming their way around the room like an electric current of wonder.

“Whoa,” Shania says as we explode out into the night. “Sweet. That was so much magic, Diego. I want to live here forever.”

I don’t know if she means in Spain, in Fonfría, or in this moment, but to be honest, I’m good with any of the above.

“What is that gorgeous scent? Do you smell it?” She looks around, tries to find the source of the fragrant scent that fills the night around us. She’s hopeless. The entire outside wall of the dining hall is buried in bougainvillea.

“Do you think perhaps it could be the miles and miles of bougainvillea right over there?” I ask. “I don’t know, I mean, it could be something else?”

“Anyone ever tell you you’re a smartass, mister?”

I smile, take her hand and walk her over to the wall of flowers. She’s right. Their scent fills the air. And the moon is still close to full. The clear sky out here still gives us an entire universe of stars.

I break off a small bunch of the flowers and offer them to Shania. She brings them to her face and inhales deeply into the purplish bouquet.

There’s a loud screech from inside the dining hall, followed by cheers, laughter, and clapping. Shania looks at me. “Paulo.” The conga music wafts out into the night. I’ve never felt so electric in my life.

“Dance with me,” I say. I take the flowers from her hand and tuck them in behind her ear. I hold out my hands and Shania laughs. “What?”

“Nothing, Diego,” she says. This is everything I want right now. Out here in the near darkness, half-lit by the moon and bubbling over with all these emotions. Conga beats spill out around us. “I’d love to dance with you.” We dance, and it’s glorious. Better than the heat of the potion, the theatrics of Rosa and Paulo, and the spectacle of the Queimada ceremony combined. I’ll never forget this moment.

Here’s the link to the original posting of this outtake, as it appeared in VOYAGE. Please visit this amazing YOUNG ADULT LITERARY JOURNAL and show them some love!

As promised, some purchase links for THE CAMINO CLUB, along with the GOODREADS link:

Amazon USA | Amazon Canada | Chicago Review Press | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Book Depository | BookShop | Indigo-Chapters | IndieBound | Kobo USA | Kobo Canada | Interlude Press/Duet Books | WalMart USA | Target | Blackwell’s (UK) | Booktopia (Aus) | APPLE Books | Goodreads

Now be a doll and run along and grab your copy! I’d love for you to read this award-winning book!

Kobo Pride Month Sale – The Camino Club for 99 Cents for the Month of June!

This just in! Rakuten kobo is having a PRIDE MONTH sale! And THE CAMINO CLUB is part of that sale!

For the entire month of June, pick up the eBook of THE CAMINO CLUB at Kobo for only $0.99!!

This sale is open to both USA & CANADA readers! Only 99 cents!

Synopsis

After getting in trouble with the law, a group of wayward teens are given an ultimatum: serve time in juvenile detention for their crimes or walk the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage across Spain over the summer holidays with a pair of court-appointed counselors. Although they come from diverse backgrounds, the unlikely friends try to make the best of their situation. The pilgrims grow closer on their journey, but they may not make it to their destination—the Cathedral in Santiago. If they do, will they each find what they’re looking for, and will their newfound friendships endure?

Pick up your copy of THE CAMINO CLUB at KOBO this PRIDE MONTH! Read the rainbow!

LINKS TO 99 CENT SALE:

THE CAMINO CLUB AT KOBO CANADA

THE CAMINO CLUB AT KOBO USA

Stay tuned for updates on my upcoming novel, BOOK OF DREAMS (Chicago Review Press/Duet Books, September, 2022!)

Hey Canada! THE CAMINO CLUB sale alert! 99 CENTS!

Okay, I have news…not the news I’m dying to share with you about BOOK OF DREAMS, but news all the same!

THE CAMINO CLUB is on sale at Amazon CANADA!

Now would be the time to pick up your copy if you haven’t done so already! Before the sale goes away.

AMAZON CANADA – THE CAMINO CLUB

Act fast! Like, run don’t walk to Amazon and get your copy now! Make THE CAMINO CLUB your PRIDE READ for PRIDE MONTH!

SYNOPSIS: After getting in trouble with the law, a group of wayward teens are given an ultimatum: serve time in juvenile detention for their crimes or walk the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage across Spain over the summer holidays with a pair of court-appointed counselors. Although they come from diverse backgrounds, the unlikely friends try to make the best of their situation. The pilgrims grow closer on their journey, but they may not make it to their destination—the Cathedral in Santiago. If they do, will they each find what they’re looking for, and will their newfound friendships endure?

If you have already read The Camino Club, please consider telling your friends! I’d love to see this story of my heart reaching more readers!

Pride Month 2022 – Pride Reads!

Happy Pride Month to all! It’s time to consider reading books with LGBTQ+ representation!

I’m currently reading HOWL by Shaun David Hutchinson and LOVING it! Highly recommend! It’s such a subtly told powerhouse of a story about struggling to find oneself while fearing becoming something other than oneself…while at the same time punching back against bullying and biases. Really, such a deep read. Written for the Young Adult market.

My recently read Pride reads were pretty fascinating looks into growing up with gay dads. One from a Canadian woman whose father gravitated to the Toronto gay village area and one from an American woman whose father gravitated to the Castro in San Francisco. Loved them both! Poignant, sad, funny…all the feels. Highly recommend them…even as side by side reads:

CONFESSIONS OF A FAIRY’S DAUGHTER – GROWING UP WITH A GAY DAD by Alison Wearing

FAIRYLAND – A MEMOIR OF MY FATHER by ALYSIA ABBOTT

I too write Pride books. Here are 3 that are available now!

 

 

Billions of Beautiful Hearts (Interlude Press/Duet Books) is a young adult story with two nonbinary teens finding love online during the time of Covid Lockdown. The Camino Club (Interlude Press/Duet Books) is a young adult story with six teens walking the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route across Spain as atonement for their crimes back home in Toronto. It features a gay narrator with lesbian rep. Pride Must Be A Place (Muse It Up) is a young adult story with Ezra Caine and his friends coming together to create their small-town high school’s first Gay Straight Alliance. Ezra discovers along the way that he can find happiness, love, and safety in the places he once feared.

KEVIN CRAIG AUTHOR PAGE on AMAZON USA

KEVIN CRAIG AUTHOR PAGE on AMAZON CANADA

I also have upcoming PRIDE reads! One of which you could definitely PRE-ORDER during Pride Month! YES, I’m talking about BOOK OF DREAMS again!

The Book.

Here’s the synopsis:

Gaige’s curiosity gets the better of him when he discovers a bookstore on an abandoned street where no bookstore should be. He steps inside and is immediately enthralled by its antiquarian sights and smells. But one book in particular calls to him. It isn’t long before he gets a bad feeling about it, but it’s already too late. The store’s aged bookseller gives him no alternative: once he touches the book, it’s his—whether he wants it or not. It’s bought and paid for and there are no returns. The book leads Gaige on a horrific descent into the unknown. As he falls into the depths of its pages, he loses blocks of time, and his friends become trapped inside ancient cellars with seemingly no means of escape. Gaige soon learns that the ancient bookseller is a notorious serial killer from a previous century, and fears that he has fallen into a predicament from which he may not escape. When all seems lost, he finds the one person he can turn to for help—Mael, a sweet teen also trapped inside the book who didn’t fall for the bookseller’s tricks. Together, they race against time to protect Gaige from joining a long string of boys who vanished without a trace inside the Book of Dreams.

AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER WHEREVER BOOKS ARE SOLD! Also, put Book of Dreams on your Goodreads shelf!

Amazon USA | Amazon Canada | Chicago Review Press Print | Chicago Review Press Ebook | Barnes & Noble | Interlude Press | Kobo USA | Kobo Canada | IndieBound | Blackwell’s | Booktopia | Book Depository | APPLE Books | Goodreads

It’s Pride Month. Whatever you choose to do with your reading time this month, just consider spending some of that time reading and supporting LGBTQ+ fiction!

HAPPY PRIDE!