Time to Reveal the Cover of My Book!

I am crazy excited to share the cover of my first book JENNIE FOWLER NIGHTTIME PROWLER with you today!  This is the first book in my new children’s series about a young girl whose sleepwalking leads to a lot of great adventures not only for herself but pretty much everyone around her.  It is targeted to kids aged 6-9 and I’ve infused lots of age-appropriate humour and great male and female characters to make it appealing not just to girls but to boys as well.  I’ve also tried very hard to make it the type of book that parents, teachers, and librarians can enjoy when reading to or with younger children.

JENNIE FOWLER NIGHTTIME PROWLER is scheduled to be released on July 28, 2014 and will be available both in print and as an e-book.

I think my amazing book design team did a fabulous job.  I love everything about it!  Let’s see what you think…

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If you’re wondering why Jennie’s eyes are open instead of closed it’s because sleepwalkers roam about with their eyes open as though they are hypnotised – or at least my kids did anyway!  Luckily they’ve grown out of it now that they’re older.

Let me know what you think of the cover!

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Recommended Read: Not A Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis (Published by Katherine Tegan Books, 2013)

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The Cover Says…

Lynn knows every threat to her pond:  drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and most important, people looking for a drink.  She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty or doesn’t leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest.  Having a life means dedicating it to survival and the constant work of gathering wood and water.  Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing:  strangers.  The mysterious footprints by the pond, the nighttime threats, and the gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it…

With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different from our own.

Why I Recommend It…

I absolutely loved this book.  I was initially intrigued by the cover and the story didn’t disappoint.  The potential reality of this dystopian book added to the thrill as I turned each page, eager to find out what would happen next.  Sometimes shocking and other times predictable (but in a good way), I found it to be much more than just a story of survival. It was a coming of age story of a young woman living in a world that could very much be ours one day. It is also a fierce reminder of how valuable the things we often take for granted are which makes it such an intense read.  Since reading this book I’ve found myself making mental notes of fresh water sources as I travel about doing my daily business so the story remains very real to me.  It is a very well-written and thought-provoking debut novel by Mindy McGinnis.  This definitely goes on my list of all time favorites.

Recognizing the Role of Military Spouses

This post comes two days after Remembrance Day in Canada.  A day when we reflect on the service of men and women who came before us who have given us this very right to speak our minds, voice our opinions, and share them with the world.  Without them, it seems unlikely that blogging would even exist.

For me, Remembrance Day is also a time to thank the many friends I have currently serving in our Canadian military and to also thank their spouses for the sacrifices they have made.

I spent about 10 years living in the military community of Greenwood, N.S. with a portion of that time working as a Coordinator at the Greenwood Military Family Resource Centre.  I was a civilian, but most of my friends, neighbours, and co-workers were military spouses so I had the privilege of getting to know so many fabulous military families over the years and grew to very much appreciate the challenges faced by so many of them. What has always amazed me about my friends who are military spouses is their amazing strength, compassion for each other, and creativity to solve problems that come their way.  They truly are amazing people.  I’ve watched some struggle through challenging pregnancies while their husbands were deployed, raise children without the support of family nearby to help them, learn to use snow blowers, power tools, and basically become carpenters because if there was going to be a major storm or something was going to break it was inevitable that it would happen when their husband was a few thousand miles away. I’ve also watched them rally together to support each other in ways I cannot properly describe with words.  I feel blessed to have had the chance to meet so many of them, support some of them during challenging times, and develop friendships with many that have survived postings, distance, and time.  Some of the women I consider to be my closest and dearest friends are women I never see because they are scattered around the world supporting their husbands.  I love them dearly and miss them immensely.

Today I am excited to support Brenda Corey Dunne, a military spouse who worked with me as a volunteer at the Greenwood Military Family Resource Centre several postings ago, as she reveals the cover for her upcoming novel, DEPENDENT, expected to be released in late July 2014 by Jolly Fish Press.   I have a passion for supporting Canadian writers and feel truly honoured to have the opportunity to take part in her cover reveal today and help introduce this talented new writer to the world.  If you enjoy reading, are a military member, or a military spouse you are going to want to read this book.  Personally, I can’t wait for July and already have a stash of Kleenex on hand because I’ve heard rumours that it is a tear jerker.

Cover - Dependent
About Dependent:
When 45-year-old Ellen Michaels loses her husband to a tragic military accident, she is left in a world of gray. For 25 years her life has been dictated by the ubiquitous They—the military establishment that has included her like chattel with John’s worldly goods—his Dependents, Furniture, and Effects. They—who have stolen her hopes, her dreams and her innocence, and now in mere months will take away the roof over her head. Ellen is left with nothing to hold on to but memories and guilt and an awful secret that has held her in its grip since she was 19. John’s untimely death takes away her anchor, and now, without the military, there is no one to tell her where to go, what to do— no one to dictate who she is. Dependent deals with issues ever-present in today’s service families—early marriage, frequent long absences, the culture of rank, and posttraumatic stress, as well as harassment and abuse of power by higher-ranking officials. It presents a raw and realistic view of life for the lives of the invisible support behind the uniform.

About Brenda:

Brenda Corey Dunne grew up in rural New Brunswick, Canada. She originally trained as a physiotherapist and worked several years as a Physiotherapy Officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force before meeting the love of her life and taking her release.

She completed her first full length manuscript in 2008 as a bucket-list item and since then she has self-published a work of YA historical fiction (TREASURE IN THE FLAME), and has several other manuscripts in various stages of completion. DEPENDENT, an adult contemporary fiction, will be published by Jolly Fish Press in summer 2014. Brenda is represented by Jennifer Mishler and Frances Black of Literary Counsel.

When not working as a physioherapist or writing, Brenda can be found juggling taxi-mom duties, working in the garden or strolling through the horse paddock with a coffee in hand. She currently resides on a small hobby farm in Eastern Ontario (Canada) with her husband and their three children, two horses, a dog, a cat, several chickens and the occasional sheep.

Brenda Corey Dunne

Congratulations, Brenda!

Recommended Read: The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill (Harper Collins Publishers, 2007)

Since it is African Heritage Month here in Nova Scotia it seems fitting that my first recommended read is an outstanding novel by Canadian author Lawrence Hill called The Book of Negroes published in Canada by Harper Collins.  In the US, Australia, and New Zealand it is published under the title Someone Knows My Name.

I was unable to put this book down when I first read it three years ago and I agree completely with the Globe and Mail’s statement that it is “a masterpiece.”  The book follows the life of an African woman who was abducted from her home village in Africa, sold into a world of slavery, and the various circumstances forced upon her as she tries to find her way back home.

Why did I like it?

  • Lawrence Hill has, without question, created one of the most memorable characters of all time, Aminata Diallo.  I don’t think anyone who has read this book will ever forget her.
  • Although the book is a work of fiction, it is rich in history.  A part of the book is set in my home province of Nova Scotia and it introduced me to a part of history that, sadly, I wasn’t aware of.
  • It made me cry.  The book is a reminder not only of the violation and brutality endured by so many, but also of the strength of those who endured it.  I cried for both reasons and think I’m a better person just having read it.

It’s probably worth noting that when I found out Lawrence Hill was speaking in Halifax (an hour from where I live) earlier this month I was over the moon with excitement.  I was so excited about the possibility of meeting the man who created this amazing book and outstanding female character who still haunts me from time to time.  Sadly, however, because of a work commitment I was unable to attend.  Sometimes having a ‘real’ job REALLY sucks!

Recommended Read:  The Book of Negroes (Canada) / Someone Knows My Name (US) by author, Lawrence Hill

Recommended Read: The Book of Negroes (Canada) / Someone Knows My Name (US) by author, Lawrence Hill (www.lawrencehill.com)