I have been dying to shout this bookish news from the rooftops and now I finally can! This is big! A bucket list item!
BOOK OF DREAMSIS GETTING AN AUDIOBOOK!!!
I am so excited about this development. This will be the first time one of my books has been recorded as an audiobook. And the voice actor recording the book? CHEF’S KISS! I actually got to listen to some of the auditions along the way, and then some samples of the actor eventually hired to record BOOK OF DREAMS and I could NOT be happier!
The voice actor is CJ Heineman! The second I heard their audition tape, I knew they were the one! Without a doubt, CJ was Gaige! They do such an incredible job. I’ve only heard the first couple of chapters so far, but it’s pure magic. They’re just the perfect voice to narrate Gaige’s story. If I had imagined Gaige’s voice in my head, CJ is what I would have heard.
This is truly a dream come true. This little book that began with the idea WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF THIS KID STUMBLED UPON A BOOKSTORE WHERE NO BOOKSTORE SHOULD BE? at the Muskoka Novel Marathon is now an audiobook! This nugget of an idea that I ran with amidst the chaos of 40 writers hanging out together in one room has been realized into an actual book. Writing is magical, isn’t it!?
Thanks to the people at the Muskoka Novel Marathon for giving us writers a warm friendly place to make magic.
And thanks to my publisher, Chicago Review Press, and its Duet Books imprint, for believing in my story enough to not only publish it…but to produce the accompanying audiobook.
And a HUGE thanks to CJ Heineman for bringing the story to life with their flawless rendition of my narrator, Gaige! Click the pic to be taken to their Twitter profile:
Check out the audiobook of BOOK OF DREAMS today!
It takes a while for the audiobook to be uploaded, so as of yet there is only one place where it is available. I will update this post as it appears on other sites. BUT OFFICIALLY, IT’S AVAILABLE! It just showed up at KOBO CANADA!
Just a quick reminder that I will be signing paperback copies of Book of Dreams at Chapters-Indigo Oshawa Centre on Saturday October 1st, 2022 at 1:00pm. THAT’S THIS COMING SATURDAY!! Please come out and say hello!
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!)
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.
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?
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.
On Monday I shared the cover of the upcoming young adult novel from Brien Crothers. Pre-Orders are now active for CAMINO CHILD! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to fans of both young adult fiction and stories set on the Camino de Santiago.
CAMINO CHILD – Fifteen-year-old SUMMER DARLING and her grandmother have left their home in southern California to fly to the rugged coast of northern Spain, following a crypticnote and pages from a forty-year-old travel diary neither knew existed. The answers to a family mystery, Grandma Pat is now certain, lie along the ancient pilgrimage trail called the Camino de Santiago.
To be honest, Summer isn’t all that interested in the journal. She’s learned the hard way to view family with suspicion and keep outsiders at arm’s length. But Summer will do anything for Grandma Pat, and so she hefts a backpack and sets out for a walk of more than 500 miles.
When tragedy strikes, though, Summer has to make a choice. Can she continue the journey alone, trekking across a country she knows almost nothing about? And will the answers she finds on the journal pages fill the aching, lonely hole in her own heart?
As she explores the sunny beaches of the Camino del Norte and the wide-open spaces of the Camino Francés, Summer will discover friends in the most unexpected places, beauty on the most difficult days, and more than a little “Camino magic.”
Pre-Order today and be among the first to read Camino Child when it releases on Tuesday, October 4th!
From the moment Summer Darling touched down on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in Spain, I fell in love with her strong-willed spirit and tenacity. Camino Child was an amazing read, filled with courage, strength, and perseverance against all odds. Summer is such a strong young woman and it was a pure delight to watch her grow into her power in this beautiful story.
Every once in a while I get to read an amazing manuscript prior to its release. When this happens, I can’t wait to talk about it, to tell everyone how much they will love it! The wait is always so difficult. Then, finally, one day the manuscript has a release date and I can finally shout about it!
That day has come for CAMINO CHILD, the amazing upcoming novel by BRIEN CROTHERS!
If you’re a fan of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route across Spain, and an avid reader of books set on the Camino, you will absolutely adore CAMINO CHILD. Like my own The Camino Club, this is a young adult novel. The main character of CAMINO CHILD is such a fierce, strong female lead. You’ll fall in love with Summer Darling and the grit and tenacity she summons as she attempts to complete the Camino de Santiago and land at the cathedral in the Galician city of Santiago de Compostela.
Here’s a brief synopsis of the novel:
CAMINO CHILD: After they receive pages from an old diary, Summer Darling travels to Spain with her grandmother. When Grandma Pat dies, Summer is left to walk 500 miles on an ancient pilgrimage route and to unravel her family’s mysterious past.
SUMMER DARLING’S life had an unusual start. She was born in an apple orchard. By her teenage years, she was living in a commune on the Olympic Peninsula, where her father grew pot with his friend, Paul, the leader of The Camp. When Paul, a lustful man and controlling leader, began to notice Summer’s beauty, she was whisked off to southern California by her Grandma Pat.
When Grandma Pat receives the first few pages of a travel journal written in 1982 by her older and now deceased sister, Georgia, Pat and Summer follow the diary to Spain and the famed El Camino de Santiago. They wonder who sent those journal pages, and why the mystery. The ancient pilgrimage route stretches out 500 miles ahead of them. More of the journal pages are received then forwarded from home. The mystery unfolds as Summer negotiates a path through tragic loss, shyness, weather, blisters, and boys.
What will Summer discover about her family and herself as she treks across an entire country?
The cover reveal for this novel was yesterday, and I’m glad to share it here today.
AUTHOR BIO: BRIEN CROTHERS grew up in rural northern California, where he still lives today. His writing journey began with a journal Brien wrote when he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and went on photo safaris in the Serengeti. Since then, Brien has written about his travels and published some of the more useful information for others to enjoy. Now, Brien focuses on more travel opportunities, meeting amazing people, listening to their stories, having his own experiences, and blending those into travel adventure stories and novels for young people and the young at heart. Brien’s one true hope is to inspire young people to expand their worldview, gain perspective, and make this world a better place.
CAMINO CHILD Release date: October 4th, on Amazon. Other outlets soon after. As purchase links are made available, I’ll share them here.
This is one you won’t want to miss. It has all the feels! I was thrilled to read the early version of this manuscript and so glad to see it will soon be hitting shelves! Mark your calendars!
Almost every single time I talk about my upcoming novel BOOK OF DREAMS on here, I make sure to mention that it is a MASH of genres. I think it’s very important for authors to be upfront about stuff like that, so as not to alienate their readers.
I wouldn’t want someone to think, ‘Oh, HORROR!’ and pick up my novel thinking that’s what they’re going to get.
First and foremost, BOOK OF DREAMS is for the YOUNG ADULT market. Here’s a list of the genres I navigate with BOOK OF DREAMS:
I’ve made this clear from day one. I wrote it this way. Just like I did with Half Dead & Fully Broken several years ago, I wanted to write a CONTEMPORARY with a bit of an edge…I wanted it to slide into other genres while keeping its contemporary feel.
If the reader goes into BOOK OF DREAMS not knowing this, they could be disappointed. So this is yet another PSA regarding the book.
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 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.
Some pre-order links AND the Goodreads link so you can add it to your Goodreads shelf!
Act fast! Like, run don’t walk to Amazon and get your copy now! Make THE CAMINO CLUByour 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!
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.
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!
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.