To all of my readers who have pre-ordered BOOK OF DREAMS…I am forever thankful! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I have an announcement concerning the release date of the book.
My publisher, Interlude Press, was recently acquired by Chicago Review Press (read about the acquisition here at Publisher’s Weekly). One of the first things to change, for me, was the release date of my upcoming young adult horror, Book of Dreams. They want to give the book more time…for marketing, etc. It’s a hard but understandable change. I hope those who pre-ordered are not too put out by the change in the release date. They want to give it the time it deserves to prepare it for its journey into the world, and I’m totally onboard with this change. Feeling pretty excited about this one!
You can still pre-order BOOK OF DREAMS…it’ll just show up a bit later now. Instead of MAY 24th, 2022…it’ll arrive SEPTEMBER 13th, 2022.
Totally coincidentally, the new release date also happens to be my birthday!
(Please note that some online retailers still show the May date as the release date. This will change…the news is fairly recent. Sites should be updated soon.)
You can pre-order BOOK OF DREAMS wherever books are sold. Here’s some links, if you would like to do so:
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 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 boy 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.
With so many great titles to choose from, you really can’t go wrong. Interlude Press is a phenomenal LGBTQ press. Browse around for a bit, see if there’s anything that strikes your fancy! The discount appears IN THE CART. So the 40% off is off the list price shown. You’ll see that discount once your click through to the cart.
SALE IS ON RIGHT NOW UNTIL DECEMBER 24th ONLY IN THE ONLINE STORE!
Let’s go through MY titles, shall we?!
1st up, my upcoming novel BOOK OF DREAMS! It’s up for preorder at the Interlude Press store. Preorder now for a 40% savings!
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.
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 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 boy 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.
If we’re going by reverse order of release, next up will be BILLIONS OF BEAUTIFUL HEARTS!
Wen Devante is Insta famous with a massive following and a flare for fashion. At almost 18, they have already published a book on gender nonconformity, released several songs on Spotify and appeared on television. During the first wave of Covid-19 lockdown, they reach out to an unsuspecting Kay, one of their 2.3 million followers. The two form a bond, first through Instagram messages and then through Zoom. They discover there are ways to have a meaningful relationship despite the bleak circumstances. In fact, the pandemic seems to make reaching out even easier than it used to be.
“A vivid Spanish countryside setting and captivating journey bring new depth to a classic architecture.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Kevin Craig’s The Camino Club is an intricately woven story of laughter and heartbreak, loss and love. In it, six troubled teens take a journey through the heart of Spain alongside their court-assigned counselors, finding their way through the issues that brought them together. Funny and poignant, this story of friendship and falling in love will remind you that our paths are not defined by our pasts, but the choices we make each day.”—Danika Stone, author of All the Feels, Internet Famous and Switchback
“A beautiful book filled with heart. THE CAMINO CLUB takes readers on a pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago in Spain with six delinquent teens. Not only do they find themselves along the way, but they also discover they’re all worthy of love. I laughed, I cried, I couldn’t put it down. “—Kip Wilson, YA author of White Rose
“Often hilarious and always heartfelt, THE CAMINO CLUB is an uplifting story about six mismatched teens on the journey of a lifetime, who learn that the only way to get over the past and headed for the future is to live in the moment.”—Tom Ryan, author of Keep This to Yourself and I Hope You’re Listening
After getting in trouble with the law, a group of wayward teens from diverse backgrounds 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. Although unlikely friends, they all try to make the best of their situation. The pilgrims grow closer on their journey, but when and if they reach the Cathedral in Santiago, will they each find what they’re looking for and come out of the walk ready to conquer the shattered worlds they left behind?
I often grapple with this treacherous feeling that the stuff I write isn’t gay enough, isn’t teen enough, isn’t ________ enough. I don’t know why I do this to myself. I guess I’m constantly comparing my work to the other LGBTQ YA Lit out there…the stuff I endlessly consume between my own writings.
I wrote my GAY TEEN ISSUES book already (PRIDE MUST BE A PLACE). When I was done with that book, I swore that, moving forward, I would only have incidentally gay teens in my books. Why should all LGBTQ teen literature focus only on the turmoil, the suffering, the struggles? I mean, we all know LGBTQ youth are rejected at home, rejected at school, rejected at church, rejected on the street and in the buses and in the subways and at the mall and restaurants. We ALL KNOW THIS ALREADY. And yes…I love a good redemption story where the main characters manage to find a place for themselves where nary a place was available to them prior to the insurmountable mountains they had to climb to carve that place out for themselves. Like, yeah…give me that story where LGBTQ teens conquer the impassible monumental odds against them. I’ll read it. Yes! That story is still needed.
But I’ll not write it again. I already have, in writing PRIDE. My struggle story is done. It’s exhausting to start your characters out in that place. I won’t do it again. Fuck the narrative that says an LGBTQ story should be fraught with identity struggle and finding a place to be welcome in a world that doesn’t want to welcome you. I’ll leave those books for others to write. And write it, they should.
I totally had that mindset when I set out to write The Camino Club. Even with that goal in mind, though, I did slip a bit into the LGBTQ teen struggle. Alas, it’s a bit inevitable. But I assure you I did not dwell there.
The Camino Club is an ensemble novel. It has probably no fewer than 8 main characters, if I’m being honest. At the very beginning I started to tell the story from 3 points of view and it just expanded from there the way un-planned novels tend to do.
So here’s a little re-cap of some of the main relationships in The Camino Club, for those who haven’t yet read it.
Diego and Shania – two of my three narrators. They hate each other a bit, but forge ahead knowing they’re in this together. They have to walk across Spain together, so they might as well find a way to tolerate each other. CIS/HET relationship.
Diego and Bastien – an old man comes along on the path and helps one of the teen lead characters out of a precarious predicament and then continues on with the group. Patriarch-Mentor/Child-Student relationship.
Troy and Kei – Troy is one of the three narrators. He’s a gay teen and his particular backstory is where I drag the GAY STRUGGLE into this story. Each of the teens have committed offenses that have landed them in the rehabilitation program they’re on the Camino to participate in. Troy’s crime was that he just couldn’t take the homophobia any more. Troy has a meet-cute moment while the group is stopped at a water fountain during a particularly grueling mountainous day on the Camino. Kei strikes his eye and his fancy. Gay Romance Relationship.
Claire and Zoe – The other gay representation in this book is Claire, one of the other 6 main teen characters walking the Camino in the program designed to push them to their limits and send them onto a path of redemption. Off the Page Lesbian Relationship.
Often, after writing a novel, I get this dread that I didn’t include enough LGBTQ content for it to be considered an LGBTQ book. But then I consider the source of my sliding scale content policing…it’s essentially the industry itself. Expectation is widely interpret-able. Some books just scream gay because of the nature of the content. My first LGBTQ book (referenced and linked above) was one of them. The original cover had a bright rainbow colored cover and there was no question that it was LGBTQ. In fact, if the reader was in the closet…it would be one of those covers that they would potentially feel awkward bandying about.
As I mentioned, though, I feel as though I have moved on from issue books. We deserve better…more. We deserve our stories to be focused on something other than JUST sexuality and the issues and luggage that come with that. After all, surely we are more than our sexuality.
I sometimes feel like I’m skating on a razor’s edge…attempting to incorporate just enough content to appease non-LGBTQ readers while intentionally making the story about LGBTQ life. It’s a struggle. It’s a nuisance.
The Camino Club has a gay sex scene. It is, after all, about teens falling in love. But it also explores multiple different kinds of relationships. I wrote it to reflect life…and more specifically, life on the Camino. The way characters walk in and out of your life and become SO IMPORTANT for days or hours at a time…and then move on or stay with you and form a lifelong bond. That’s what the Camino is about. And there’s room on the Camino for every single sexuality, every single gender, every single race…every single everything. I wanted to capture it all, but still have enough LGBTQ content for the novel to be considered as such.
Forgive me for leaving out the heavy issues, or for merely skating past them. We read to escape the tyranny we face…not always to explore it under a microscope. We need ALL KINDS OF LGBTQ STORIES. ALL KINDS. We live everyday lives and we live extraordinary lives. We were not put here merely for struggle. I for one have moved past the struggle stories. I’m not saying the struggle is over…FAR FROM IT. I’m saying a meet-cute romance doesn’t hurt. Feel Good is also a thing that LGBTQ folx can appreciate.
Do you want to read a novel about 6 teens who are pushed to their limits and set on a path of redemption? Pick up THE CAMINO CLUB today! It’s an LGBTQ book. It also isn’t. I believe so much in this story. I wrote it from a place of appreciation for one of my favourite places in the world. The Camino de Santiago is a transformative wonderland and it was something I was desperate to share with others. So…I wrote a book!
So now, if you purchase THE CAMINO CLUB directly from the Interlude Press Online Store, you can get it for 40% off! Sale is on from now to Dec 24th! On anything in the store! This includes 3 of my titles; THE CAMINO CLUB, BILLIONS OF BEAUTIFUL HEARTS, and, BOOK OF DREAMS! Click on the image below to start shopping!
Today is the COVER REVEAL day for my upcoming novel BOOK OF DREAMS!
I’m so excited to be able to share the cover of this LGBTQ young adult novel that falls somewhere between horror and contemporary in the genre scale (here I go again, mashing genres)! Coming May 24th, 2022, from Duet Books, the YA imprint of Interlude Press, Book of Dreams is the 3rd of 4 Duet Books projects! The fourth, to be released in 2023, is a YA contemporary with a nonbinary lead…Where is Ethan Sinclair.
Book of Dreams has been a long time in the making. In fact, I began writing it back in 2014 at the Muskoka Novel Marathon (this is a yearly 72-hour novel writing marathon that raises money for literacy programs in the Muskoka region of Northern Ontario).
The cover reveal will NOT be taking place here on my site. Below is a link to the site hosting the reveal. You’ll have to click over to that site to see the book cover!
Designed by CB Messer, I really feel that the cover captures the mood and aesthetic of the story so well! The main character, Gaige, finds Book of Dreams on a shelf in a bookstore on a deserted street where no bookstore should be. In a sea of spines in blacks and greys and beiges and muted tones, one shiny book stands out among all the others. Inextricably drawn to it, Gaige seals his fate once he reaches for it. The cover that CB Messer came up with encapsulates both the shininess of the book and the portent of bad things to come once it falls into Gaige’s possession. I love it! CB Messer knocks it out of the park, just as they did with the cover of my previous Duet Books novel THE CAMINO CLUB!
LGBTQ READS is a phenomenal site! It covers all LGBTQ literature, from MG LIT to NON FICTION to YA to ADULT to POETRY to CHILDRENS to HISTORICAL…literally everything. It’s the number one resource for LGBTQ literature on the web. Once you’re there, I urge you to take a look around. It’s a fabulous site!
And today, I have the honor of having the cover for my new baby revealed there! I couldn’t wish for a better place to have host this cover reveal. Thanks to LGBTQ READS and to my amazing publishers at INTERLUDE PRESS and DUET BOOKS for making it happen!
Want to help spread the word about my COVER REVEAL??? I would GREATLY appreciate it! Please, instead of sharing this post…please consider sharing the LGBTQ READS post! I want the spotlight to be on THAT site today! Thank you so much!
When I set out to write a new book, I guess I just don’t give a good goddamn about genres and such. I just get an idea (or a kernel of an idea) and I run with it. I follow its labyrinthine trail until I find myself at the end. Where it takes me, I do not know until I get there. Hence my upcoming young adult novel, BOOK OF DREAMS!
I had a kernel and I needed to chase it down. BOY WALKS INTO A BOOKSTORE THAT ISN’T THERE. Sounds like one of those A PRIEST, A RABBI AND A PHILOSOPHER WALK INTO A BAR jokes, but I swear to you it isn’t. There is no punchline. It’s not a joke. It’s the method by which my stories come to me. First, there is a title. It comes from the ether and lands on my screen. BOOK OF DREAMS. But what does that mean? Book of Dreams? That is such a common name, bound to be conflated with something already out in the world. Doesn’t matter, says my brain. It’s the title I’m giving you…run with it!
So, with a title in hand I have my next thought. A BOY GOES FOR A WALK AND STUMBLES UPON A BOOKSTORE WHERE HE KNOWS FOR CERTAIN A BOOKSTORE SHOULD NOT EXIST. OOh…what happens when he walks inside? I mean, this bookstore is NOT EVEN SUPPOSED TO BE HERE!!??
I am at the mercy of my thoughts. I merely chase them down to their ends. I do this more to find out where they lead than for any other reason. This thought, this title, this bookstore joke that’s not a joke that does not have a punchline? It’s now a story I find difficult to pound down into ONE TRUE GENRE. It’s like those toys from the 70s that acquaint children with shapes to build their spatial dexterity.
Where does this story fit on the genre spectrum? It is contemporary, it is horror, it is suspense, it is fantasy. But when it is all, is it also none? Is there room for stories that zig back and forth across the genre lines with disregard? I had to ask myself that question, because I have created one. I believe the answer is yes. I have read them. Therefore, they exist. I can’t start a story and follow it through to the end and honor it without allowing it to become what it is on its own. I’m okay with its inability to fit ONE specific genre. It’s the story that matters. What happens when a boy walks into a bookstore that isn’t there? It’s a question filled with intrigue…one I had to find out the answer to. So I wrote it.
It comes out in MAY 2022. That’s a short six months away! I’m excited to put this new book baby into the universe. I hope the question that made me race to find the answer also has readers curious. You can preorder BOOK OF DREAMS now. It’s being published by the wonderful queer publishing house DUET BOOKS, the YA imprint of INTERLUDE PRESS. Read about it on the Interlude Press site HERE.
Pre-Orders have ALWAYS been important for both the author and the publisher…and never more so than during a pandemic. I’d love it if you would consider pre-ordering this new forthcoming baby of mine! Here are some of the places you can pre-order BOOK OF DREAMS:
My next young adult novel, BOOK OF DREAMS, is now available for PREORDER!
Release Date: May 24, 2022
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 the 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 boy 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.
One of my early readers shared a doodle they created while reading Book of Dreams. He has given me permission to share it…I really adore it. It’s such a simple sketch, and it perfectly gets the vibe! Of course I’m going to share it here again…
When you visit a site to preorder your copy, you’ll still see the following placeholder cover:
Rest assured, the final cover will be phenomenal! I’m still overwhelmed by the beauty of the cover for my last novel, The Camino Club! Never has a cover been so perfectly matched to one of my stories. I have super high hopes for Book of Dreams!
It’s Pride Month once again. Despite the fact that we are in the middle (nearing the end??) of a pandemic, June is the month set aside for celebrating the liberation of the LGBTQ+ community. The Pride Protest continues…and it is far from over. Though we celebrate how far LGBTQ+ rights have become human rights, we can’t lose sight of the fact that Pride is still more Protest than Celebration.
But…we do celebrate.
One thing to celebrate is how far we have come in a very short time with LGBTQ+ literature. The diversification of this literature is blossoming, driven by the demand and desire for LGBTQ+ peoples to see themselves in the fiction they read.
Here’s some LGBTQ+ literature I have been and will be reading in June…
Can’t Take That Away by Steven Salvatore:
Carey Parker dreams of being a diva, and bringing the house down with song. They can hit every note of all the top pop and Broadway hits. But despite their talent, emotional scars from an incident with a homophobic classmate and their grandmother’s spiraling dementia make it harder and harder for Carey to find their voice.
Then Carey meets Cris, a singer/guitarist who makes Carey feel seen for the first time in their life. With the rush of a promising new romantic relationship, Carey finds the confidence to audition for the role of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, in the school musical, setting off a chain reaction of prejudice by Carey’s tormentor and others in the school. It’s up to Carey, Cris, and their friends to defend their rights–and they refuse to be silenced.
Told in alternating chapters with identifying pronouns, debut author Steven Salvatore’s Can’t Take That Away conducts a powerful, uplifting anthem, a swoony romance, and an affirmation of self-identity that will ignite the activist in all of us.
This is such a lovely read! I was swoony and teary-eyed half the time I was reading this one. It tackles some tough LGBTQ+ issues around identity and equality in a high school setting. It also balances these issues with a sweet romance. It has genderqueer and bi representation and a high school musical. It’s definitely a summer read one could fall in love with. I can’t say enough about this gorgeous story! I have only heaps of praise.
When You Get the Chance by Tom Ryan and Robin Stevenson:
As kids, Mark and his cousin Talia spent many happy summers together at the family cottage in Ontario, but a fight between their parents put an end to the annual event. Living on opposite coasts—Mark in Halifax and Talia in Victoria—they haven’t seen each other in years. When their grandfather dies unexpectedly, Mark and Talia find themselves reunited at the cottage once again, cleaning it out while the family decides what to do with it.
Mark and Talia are both queer, but they soon realize that’s about all they have in common, other than the fact that they’d both prefer to be in Toronto. Talia is desperate to see her high school sweetheart Erin, who’s barely been in touch since leaving to spend the summer working at a coffee shop in the Gay Village. Mark, on the other hand, is just looking for some fun, and Toronto Pride seems like the perfect place to find it.
When a series of complications throws everything up in the air, Mark and Talia—with Mark’s little sister Paige in tow—decide to hit the road for Toronto. With a bit of luck, and some help from a series of unexpected new friends, they might just make it to the big city and find what they’re looking for. That is, if they can figure out how to start seeing things through each other’s eyes.
I still don’t know where exactly this one is going, but I am obsessively devouring it to find out! I love that it is set in Toronto and Muskoka, here in Ontario. As if the dynamic duo of two wonderful Canadian authors, Tom Ryan and Robin Stevenson, wasn’t enough to make it a must read for my TBR pile, the COVER! I love to see Canadiana represented in fiction. But to see the CN Tower on the cover of a YA book? I couldn’t even imagine it. The second I saw this cover, I knew I had to have it. I’m really loving this story. I’m halfway through and already a little worried I’m going to miss it when it’s over.
At least that’s what everyone keeps telling Liam Cooper after his older brother Ethan is killed suddenly in a hit-and-run.
Feeling more alone and isolated than ever, Liam has to not only learn to face the world without one of the people he loved the most, but also face the fading relationships of his two best friends in the process.
Soon, Liam finds themself spending time with Ethan’s best friend, Marcus, who might just be the only person that seems to know exactly what they’re going through-for better and for worse.
The Ghosts We Keep is an achingly honest portrayal of grief. But it is also about why we live. Why we have to keep moving on, and why we should.
I fell in love with Mason Deaver’s debut novel, I Wish You All the Best. Some authors immediately go on my Must Read list for all future books. Deaver is one of those authors for me. I can’t wait to read this much anticipated story!
Everyone on campus knows Remy Cameron. He’s the out-and-proud, super-likable guy who friends, faculty, and fellow students alike admire for his cheerful confidence. The only person who isn’t entirely sure about Remy Cameron is Remy himself. Under pressure to write an A+ essay defining who he is and who he wants to be, Remy embarks on an emotional journey toward reconciling the outward labels people attach to him with the real Remy Cameron within.
From the author of the bestselling novel Running With Lions, a story about overcoming the labels that try to define our lives
Speaking of authors who immediately go on my Must Read list for all future books, Julian Winters made an incredible announcement this week during the Edelweiss Book Fest! His 2nd novel, How to Be Remy Cameron has an audio book in production! Interlude Press is going AUDIO! I can’t think of a better way to begin that journey than with a Julian Winters book! Watch their Twitter account for more information, but THIS IS HAPPENING!
There are always new LGBTQ titles dropping! So refreshing to see this market growing so rapidly! Here’s a title that is coming out DURING PRIDE MONTH 2021!
L.I.F.E. by Felyx Lawson:
Rider Williams is your typical high school student. He has classes, hangs with friends, plays video games, writes for the school paper, plays guitar, collects comics, and is gay. Okay, so he’s not your typical high school student.
Rider is trying to finish his senior year of high school while struggling to accept himself and hide his secret. It’s difficult and he might have succeeded if not for two challenges in his way. The first, an assignment about the one thing he doesn’t understand and hasn’t experienced: love. The other, Cameron Walker, a transfer student who looks like a stereotypical jock, but seems to be so much more.
Can Rider survive the weight of his secret?
It’s only the start of the school year but Rider already knows L.I.F.E. isn’t as easy as it seems.
Looking forward to this one! It drops on JUNE 25th, but you can pre-order Felyx Lawson‘s debut novel from Deep Hearts YA any time!
Okay, this is where I share my own Pride Reads Books! What?! You knew it was coming.
I just so happen to have 3 Pride books of my own. Now’s as good a time as any to share them! Pick one of them up for Pride Month Pride Reads!
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.
I thought I would celebrate this achievement with a little giveaway. This one will be for a PRINT COPY of THE CAMINO CLUB being sent directly from my publisher INTERLUDE PRESS and DUET BOOKS.
All you have to do to enter is RT (Retweet) my PINNED TWEET on TWITTER. RT the tweet before midnight on APRIL 17th (USA and CANADA only for this one!) and you will be entered to win a paperback of THE CAMINO CLUB. (NO NEED TO FOLLOW ME, JUST RT THE TWEET.) Since I’ll be purchasing this one from the publisher and having them mail it directly to the winner, this copy WILL NOT BE SIGNED.
You can click on the image below to go DIRECTLY to my TWITTER PROFILE. The pinned tweet at the very top of my timeline is the one you need to RETWEET. I will be choosing a winner at random and contacting them for their address on the 18th. (I even included my pinned tweet in the picture below, so you know which one to RETWEET. (-: )
Enter by midnight on the 17th!
The GOLD & SILVER winners of the 2021 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award for Teen Fiction will be announced during online ceremonies between May 11-14, 2021.
Two debut Young Adult Authors on one ticket! Barbara Baker and Lyndi Allison both have new books to shout about! What better way to do that than with a duo-launch?
Mark your calendars! On Thursday, April 15th, 2021 you will be able to join Barbara and Lyndi in the celebration. This online launch will take place at 7:00pm EDT on the 15th. Barbara and Lyndi will chat about the publishing process, from both the traditional and the indi perspective. Join them and help celebrate the launch of two new young adult works from these two debut authors!
And pick up their books while you’re at it! Click on the book covers below to visit their perspective Amazon pages.
SUMMER OF LIES – Fourteen-year-old Jillian has no idea who her dad is but uses her banishment from summer parties in Toronto to isolation in Banff National Park to track him down. But it’s not easy. A reclusive log cabin, a grumpy aunt, few trips to civilization and seriously—no cell phone reception?
When she’s not searching for her dad, Jillian pursues an elusive girl, Mika, who lives on her own in the wilderness. Together they track down a poacher and Jillian reunites Mika with her family. All should be well – but it isn’t. Big secrets in Jillian’s family surface, Jillian’s boyfriend ditches her, and her dad wants proof he’s her dad. Like she’d make this up?
Jillian swaps her English saddle for a western one as she unravels the truth about who she really is. What she learns changes everything she knows about herself and demands an inner strength she never knew she had.
THE LINES BETWEEN OUR STARS – When a dragon-snake slithers into the lab where fifteen-year-old Jas volunteers, he and his artsy rival, Gloria, teleport to an exoplanet to rescue the life form’s son. Now, the Interplanetary Space Agency is determined to stop them.
With water scarce and few comforts of home, the teens find themselves up against a formidable foe. They’ll have to overcome obstacles together or be stranded on this dusty planet light-years from Earth.
To register for the book launch on Thursday, April 15th at 7:00pm, simply email either Barbara or Lyndi NOW to save your spot! Their email addresses can be found in the flyer at the top of this post! Come on out and celebrate these new YA offerings and their amazing authors!
I do this every now and again, and 2020 is a good year to boost books you enjoyed. It’s been a bad year for releases, as far as in-person events go. Authors have suffered, and bookstores have suffered. Here’s a few book suggestions for those on your list (Or for yourself! We all deserve to pamper ourselves after the year we’ve had!)…these are books I read and loved this year.
Before the books, though, I’d like to highlight another kind of gift! Small businesses just starting out right now are the kind of thing we need! I know just the one to support. LET’S TALK ABOUT SIMCOE & CO.! From their simple but elegant branding, to their FRESH products, I love everything about them!Click on the logo image below to head over to their Facebook page:
Full Disclosure: This brand new company is my niece’s brainchild. They’ve just released their first product in time for Christmas. If you’re in the GTA area (or even if you’re not) check them out at the link in the logo above. They’re located in Port Perry, Ontario and they’re currently featuring SUGAR SCRUBS in various delectable scents.
Their products are cruelty free and vegan. Give their Facebook page a like so you can watch as things unfold!
BOOKS? BOOKS! Did someone say books?
I’m going to suggest 5 from the 25 I read so far this year. Honestly, though, all the books I read this year were awesome. For the ones I don’t highlight here, you can check them out on my Goodreads.
(CLICK ON COVERS TO VISIT AMAZON LINKS)
For travelers and wanderlusters–or those thinking of becoming one–I have just the book! No surprise I read a lot of Camino books. I just finished two more, and I’m about to highlight both of them! First is the travel memoir…
There’s Something Going On! Walking the Camino de Santiago – by Simon Donlevy.
If I say this felt like an audio-book without the audio, you might look at me kind of funny…but that’s exactly what it felt like. Simon Donlevy is a storyteller. I felt like the author was telling me the story of the 6 month sabbatical they took. This retelling of the sabbatical not only covers their travels on the Camino, but also the decisions and planning that went into taking the sabbatical and the trip to Spain. And it covers the after-Camino experience as well. I found it well told and quite enjoyable. Wasn’t fully what I was expecting. That’s what I love about Camino books…they’re always about more than just the Camino. They’re about decisions, plans, serendipity, the unexpected. If you have walked the Camino, you’ll enjoy this book for taking you back to the journey. If you haven’t, it’s a good primer for getting to know both the locations on the Camino and its magic.
Camino Maggie: Teen Rebel Series – by Joy Llewellyn
Truth be told, it feels almost risky telling you about this one! The synopsis is close to the synopsis of my most recent release. It follows four young teens (all girls) who walk the Camino de Santiago in order to avoid the punishment of their crimes. I just found out about this book in November and read it out of curiosity. I loved it! Maggie is a rich girl who breaks into her aunt’s store out of some sense of daring…not to mention to impress the boy who sort of put her up to it. She gets caught. Her Aunt Camille suggests (gives her no option, really) she accompanies her, her friend Andy, and a small group of delinquents to Spain for the experience. The four girls bond as they make their way across Spain. I think young adults would really enjoy this book…as well as any Camino enthusiasts.
Chasing the Sun (The Campfire Series Book One) – by Melanie Hooyenga
This is also a YA book. I’ve spent most of my reading year reading YA…both for pleasure and because it’s what I write. Teens would love this book…but as with all YA books, they’re not just for teens. Anyone on your list who enjoys a sweet love story will enjoy Chasing the Sun. Here’s my review from Goodreads…
Chasing the Sun was such a lovely falling-in-love story between two extremely vulnerable teens who were both a little reluctant to do so. Sage comes to the story having experienced an emotionally tumultuous relationship with a manipulative emotional abusive partner. Neb arrives having just lost his father suddenly in an extremely traumatic way. Together they navigate a path toward each other first through texts and then in person when they finally meet at a summertime school camping trip to view a total solar eclipse together. Both are tentative but excited. Sage wants to believe in love again, but doesn’t fully trust her own judgement. Neb is adjusting to a new city…and isn’t quite sure how to allow himself to feel joy while simultaneously mourning the loss of his father. When Sage and Neb do meet in person, sparks fly immediately. But are sparks enough? This story is filled with wonderfully cute falling in love moments. The eclipse almost becomes a character as the story winds down and the tension mounts and the moment of the eclipse nears. I loved everything about this story!
Now for a book with a one-two punch!
Surrender Your Sons – by Adam Sass
I absolutely loved this book and the power it gave to gay teens! I felt like I could conquer the world after reading this heartbreaking heartrending heartracing story! Get it for LGBTQIA+ readers on your list, whether or not they’re teens. We all carry wounds and trauma that will be both re-lit and assuaged by this book. It would also be an eye-opening read for straight readers. It’s a powerhouse. I honestly thought I reviewed this on Goodreads, as I have talked about it so much and so often that I misremembered actually leaving a review. I will have to rectify that. Just take my word for it, it’s an incredible book. Follow gay teens to a formidable island of oppression as their whisked off from their lives to a disgusting conversion camp. Watch as they try to take their fates into their own hands.
Last, but not least, a book from a pub-sib! From DUET BOOKS, the same Interlude Press imprint that published my latest, The Camino Club.
The Summer of Everything – by Julian Winters
I love Julian Winters books. Like their author, they just radiant light and joy. My Goodreads review below isn’t really enough. Winters’ books are always exceptional! This one was no less so. All readers would love this YA set in Santa Monica. Here’s the synopsis:
Adulting is hard. Just ask Wes Hudson. An avid comic book geek, Wes excels at two things: slacking off and pining after his best friend, Nico. Advice from his friends, ‘90s alt-rock songs, and online dating articles aren’t helping much with his secret crush. And his dream job at Once Upon a Page, the local indie bookstore, is threatened when a coffee shop franchise wants to buy the property. To top it off, his family won’t stop pestering him about picking a college major. When all three problems converge, Wes must face the one thing he’s been avoiding—adulthood.
And my review: Another amazing offering from the incomparable Julian Winters. Loved, loved, loved this story! Loved Wes and Nico and Ella and Coop and the rest of the group! This so so heartfelt! Bring tissues.
That’s 5 books and 1 fantastic small business that promises to have you savoring the aromas of Bergamot, Peppermint, Maple Syrup and more!
Happy 2020 Socially Distant Masked Christmas to you all!