Quotes Collection Part Ten

A lump forms in my throat as the truth hits me. Hard.

“That’s why people are speaking out, huh? Because it won’t change if we don’t say something.”

“Exactly. We can’t be silent.”

“So I can’t be silent.”

Daddy stills. He looks at me.
I see the fight in his eyes. I matter more to him than a movement. I’m his baby, and I’ll always be his baby, and if being silent means I’m safe, he’s all for it.

This is bigger than me and Khalil though. This is about Us, with a capital U; everybody who looks like us, feels like us, and is experiencing this pain with us despite not knowing me or Khalil. My silence isn’t helping Us.

Daddy fixes his gaze on the road again. He nods. “Yeah. Can’t be silent.”

The above quote is from The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, which I read back in July 2017. T.H.U.G. was a spectacular book and I am so looking forward to watching the film adaptation.

The Hate U Give not only has an important and powerful message to get across. It is a beautifully written and captivating story, with a protagonist you can’t help but want to fight for.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.


Past Bookish Babble Quotes Collections: Part OnePart TwoPart ThreePart FourPart FivePart SixPart SevenPart EightPart Nine.

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

Defensive Play: Release Blitz & Giveaway

DefensivePlay_OutNow

DefensivePlay

Title: Defensive Play
Series: A Boys on the Brink Novella
Author: Jamie Deacon
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Release Date: November 30, 2018
Genre: Gay YA Sports Romance
Length: 21,500 words

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One glance is all it takes to bring his defences crashing down…

Seventeen-year-old Davey has never made friends easily. Shy, geeky, crippled with social anxiety, he feels isolated from his peers, and only his position as defender for the school football team fills the void of loneliness. On the pitch, his deft footwork has earned him the respect and acceptance of his squad, though at a price. Desperate to hold onto this camaraderie, Davey conceals the truth from everyone, even his own family.

Then, during the annual Brookshire football tournament, his eyes meet those of a rival player across the field and a spark flares between them, one neither boy can deny. Adam is everything Davey longs to be—confident, popular, comfortable with his sexuality. Davey aches to explore their connection, to discover where it might lead, but how can he follow his heart and risk rejection by his teammates, the closest thing to friends he has ever known?


⇒  E X C E R P T  ⇐

The rain has stopped. A soft mist hangs in the air, turning the distant streetlights a hazy orange. After the stuffiness of the clubhouse, the night is bitterly cold and I pull on my sweatshirt against the chill. I sit on the steps overlooking the car park, heedless of the damp that seeps through my jeans. Elbows on knees, I rest my chin in my hands and close my eyes, attempting to clear my mind. I don’t want to think anymore. I just want to sit with nothing but the dark and the quiet for company.

I haven’t been hunched there long when the door opens, ejecting a stream of warmth and thumping bass. I glance behind me, although I know who it will be. My body goes still. Adam lets the door swing shut and, just like that, we’re alone.

He doesn’t seem surprised to find me on the steps. Perhaps he saw me leave. Has he followed me? My insides clench. What if Adam thinks I did it deliberately, that I meant to lure him out here. Maybe I had. Maybe, deep down, a part of me hoped Adam might come, even while the rest of me prayed he wouldn’t.

This time, when our gazes connect, there’s no one to see, no football match to act as a buffer. I drink him in. Even in the faint glow filtering through the frosted pane in the door, his eyes are a vivid blue.

“Hey,” Adam says. Such a simple word that expresses so much. There’s recognition there, like we’re childhood friends meeting after years apart, but uncertainty, too. He has a nice voice, I register through my turbulent thoughts—warm and slightly husky.

“Hey.” My reply emerges somewhere between a croak and a squeak. Cringing, I stare down at my feet.

“It’s Davey, right?”

I fling him a startled look. Had this boy—this confident, gorgeous boy—actually gone to the trouble of finding out my name?

One side of Adam’s mouth lifts in a crooked smile. “Well, I had to know who the lunatic was who almost took my leg off.”

“God.” I bury my face in my hands. Of course Adam was going to ask about me after what happened on the pitch. “I’m so sorry.”

He laughs and nudges my thigh with the toe of his trainer. “I’m kidding. Seriously, you did us a favour.”

I dare a peep at him, unable to rid myself of the thought that he has pursued me out here to take the piss. That wouldn’t be anything new, after all.

“It’s true.” Adam crouches on the step beside me, his expression amused but without malice. “Rob warned me about you. He said the rest of your defence was pretty solid, but probably weren’t quick enough to catch me. You were the real threat.”

I grimace. “I’m guessing he wasn’t expecting me to take you out quite so spectacularly, though.”

“Funnily enough, that wasn’t included in the pep talk. Still, I should be thanking you. You made our job a whole lot easier.”

“Don’t remind me. You should’ve heard the guys after the match. I’ll never hear the end of it.”

Adam laughs again, and I can’t hold back a smile. Here I am, having an actual conversation with an amazing-looking boy—a boy who’d caught me checking him out, no less—and I’m not making an ass of myself.

The door behind us bursts open and several guys spill out. I tense, guard raised. Will they think it odd us sitting out here alone? I scan their faces, but none are from Farnstead. A moment later, they barrel down the steps without giving either of us a second look and head for one of the cars parked nearby.

As they pile in and the engine growls to life, I exhale, shoulders slumping. I can feel Adam studying me and keep my gaze lowered.

“You’re not out,” he says, “are you?”

“What?” My entire body goes rigid. He knows. I’d already guessed as much, but suspecting it is one thing; being confronted with the indisputable truth sends me spiralling back into panic mode. Why had he really followed me out here? I’d thought…been sure I’d read something in his eyes when they locked with mine, but what if I’m wrong? Do I truly believe someone like Adam, someone popular and self-assured, would have sought me out? Unless…

I see again the Brookminster players in their huddle, sniggering, moments after Adam caught me staring. I’d reassured myself they weren’t laughing about me, but perhaps my fears had been well founded. The cold certainty settles like a snowball in my gut. I’d given myself away, and now the other lads have sent Adam out here to chat me up, trick me into an admission I won’t be able to take back. For all I know, his mates are somewhere close by as we speak, listening in.

“Hey.” Adam extends his palms in what is probably supposed to be a calming gesture. “It’s all right. I know and it’s all right.”

“You don’t know anything,” I snap. The instinct for self-preservation, to keep my protective wall intact at any cost, propels me to my feet. “You hear me? You don’t know anything about me.”

Before he can respond, I’m down the steps and sprinting into the darkness, phone already out to call my parents. All I want is to go home, crawl into bed, and forget today ever happened.


⇒  Purchase Your Copy!  ⇐

Kindle UK | Kindle US | Nook | Apple Books | Kobo
Smashwords | Beaten Track Publishing

Rainbow Books

⇒  About Jamie Deacon  ⇐

Jamie lives in a tranquil spot close to the River Thames in Berkshire, England, and has always been just a little out of place—the only redhead in a family of brunettes; an introvert far more at ease with dogs than with people; a connoisseur of simple pleasures in a society intent on the quest for wealth and fame. Despite an outward cynicism, Jamie is a romantic at heart, and, when not immersed in a book, can mostly be found writing emotional stories where young men from all walks of life are forced to navigate the sometimes painful reality of growing up, coming out, and falling in love.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

⇒  G I V E A W A Y  ⇐

To celebrate the release of Defensive Play, Jamie Deacon is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card. For your chance to win, simply enter via the Rafflecopter below. The giveaway is open to entrants world wide, and closes at midnight EST on Friday December 7, 2018.

Good luck! [ENTER HERE]

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

November 2018 Bookish Summary

Total books read in November = 11
Comics/Graphic Novels = 4
#LoveOzYA / #LoveNzYA = 2
the remainder = 5

The Rift by Rachael Craw.
Published November 1st, 2018 by Walker Books Australia [View on Goodreads].
A gripping tale of an isolated island with paranormal secrets [Full Review HERE].

The Dog Who Lost His Bark by Eoin Colfer.
Published November 1st, 2018 by Walker Books [View on Goodreads].
A beautiful story of love, friendship and recovery [Full REVIEW HERE].

All Aces (Circus Hearts, #3) by Ellie Marney.
Published November 1st, 2018 by Bearded Lady Press [View on Goodreads].
An action-packed finale to the #LoveOzYA dark romance trilogy, Circus Hearts [Full Review HERE].

The Coven Heir (The Coven Series Book Two) by Lily Luchesi.
Published October 5th, 2018 by Vamptasy Publishing [View on Goodreads].
A paranormal tale of romance, revenge and necromancy [Full REVIEW HERE].

Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1) by Rachel Hawkins.
Published March 2nd, 2010 by Hyperion Book CH [View on Goodreads].
Witches, Demons and boarding school, oh my! A tale of fitting in, friendship and family secrets.

The Portal (Tales of Mentara, #1) by Ashley Uzzell.
Published April 13th, 2018 by Ashley Uzzell [View on Goodreads].
A fantastical tale of friendship, nature magic and mysterious new worlds [Full Review HERE].

The Man from Snowy River and Other Verses by A. B. Banjo Paterson.
Published April 8th 2016 by Spoken Realms [View on Goodreads].
A collection of 19th century Australian bush poetry that serves as a time capsule for the way we were.

What If? Spider-Man (2018) by Gerry Conway, Diego Olortegui & Patrick Zircher.
Published October 3rd, 2018 by Marvel [View on Goodreads].
The tale of a world where it wasn’t Peter Parker who was bitten by the radioactive spider.

Fence #12 by (Author) C.S. Pacat (Illustrators) Johanna the Mad, Joana Lafuente, Hamlet Machine.
Published November 28th, 2018 by BOOM! [View on Goodreads].
A loveable underdog, competitive fencing, the drama of an all-boys school
= a compelling series.

Batman Damned: Book One by Brian Azzarello & Lee Bermejo.
Published September 19th, 2018 by DC Comics [View on Goodreads].
Batman together with Constantine is my jam! My dark Jam!

Kat: The Legend of Gnawbonia by Nick White.
Published 2017 by Nick White [View on Goodreads].
A whirlwind adventure involving a little cat fighting for her freedom [Full REVIEW HERE].

Conclusion: I feel like I smashed it out of the park this month. I’ve had a few rather low reading months prior. But I felt like I was back in fine form. I had plenty of awesome reads and I managed to get out quite a few reviews, woop woop.

Last month’s summary [HERE].

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

Nick White: Author Q&A

Kat: The Legend of Gnawbonia by Nick White
THE WORLD’S FIRST FULLY ILLUSTRATED NOVEL
168 pages & 14 chapters of action packed illustrated mastery

In the great city of Catifornia, the Meofia are by far the most feared of all the felines. At home, their baby sister Kat is enslaved under lock and key. Done with the constant abuse, she escapes, embarking on a perilous journey far beyond the land of cats.

Lost at sea, Kat is captured by a ruthless gang of notorious pirate dogs and forced to the depths of the ocean in search of treasure; where she discovers an ancient city, lost in time.

Here, Kat comes to terms with who she truly is – gaining the courage to fight for her life and freedom, to fulfil an ancient prophecy that she inevitably finds herself entwined with.

A new style of book, a fusion of various parts.
Adventure novel, graphic novel & picture book.


T h e    I n t e r v i e w

KAT: THE LEGEND OF GNAWBONIA IS AVAILABLE AS A VISUALLY STUNNING HIGH-QUALITY HARD COVER (seriously it’s beautiful, congratulations on that) AND AS AN ANIMATED EBOOK. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR AND KAT’S PUBLISHING JOURNEY?

Thanks Sarah. I did actually get accepted into a few publishing houses, but turned them down as they wanted full creative control of the book and in the end they pay fractions to authors. Although there’s a few risky pages in there I like everything I’ve put into the book and didn’t want it butchered by any company scared of offending few individuals to protect their reputation. So I funded the first print run through Kickstarter, it’s a great way to do it – if you can convince people it’s a worthy investment that likely won’t be fulfilled for a long time due to shipping problems and international banking issues. Hahaha.

CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE INSPIRATION BEHIND IT, OR HOW THE STORY CAME TO BE?

I’ve wanted to do an illustrated novel for about 17 years, and what sparked that was that there just aren’t many around (there were none back then). I guess I then had to work up the courage to spend 5 years of my life on one single project. I was never really sure what the story was going to be but in the end when I put pen to paper I wanted the end of it to have an epic fight between a seemingly helpless and small-for-her-age cat, and a bunch of hungry beastly dogs. And I wanted the cat to come out on top. From there it was a case of reverse engineering the story; Why are they fighting? The dogs could be pirates. Why is the cat there? She could be their prisoner? How did she get there? She was lost at sea etc etc. Every answer would inspire a further question until the story was plump enough.

IF YOU COULD GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING AND GIVE YOURSELF ANY ADVICE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I’d tell myself to invest heavily on Netflix… then I could have spent the last few years working on my book fulltime and not through the nights in between my full time job.

ARE YOU WORKING ON ANYTHING AT THE MOMENT, CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT IT?

I am loosely working on the next volume of the book. It’s very exciting; it’s a straight continuation of the story.

WHAT ARE YOU READING AT THE MOMENT OR WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU READ?

The last book I read was the Gruffalo. I have a 3 year old daughter. The last book I read for myself was James and the giant peach. I always wanted to read it when I was younger but never got around to it. Roald Dahl’s still got it!


THANK YOU SO MUCH TO NICK FOR TAKING THE TIME TO ANSWER MY QUESTIONS!

Nick has chosen to give 10% of all profits from the book to three international animal charities, Mercy for Animals, The Humane League and Animal Equality, who are doing essential work around the globe to eradicate factory farming – a theme the book lightly touches on.
Nick is originally from Sydney, Australia, has spent the last 18 years as a commercial artist, lending a hand to some of the biggest ad and design agencies in the UK, NZ and Australia.

NICK CAN BE FOUND @ www.nickwhiteworks.com

KAT: THE LEGEND OF GNAWBONIA CAN BE FOUND @
Website | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Animated eBook

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

October 2018 Bookish Summary

The start of last month was an emotional one for my entire family. We held our heads high and celebrated our matriarch, my grandmother’s life. She illuminated this earth with her light for 91 years. I will mourn her for the rest of my life. But, I will take the lessons she taught me and try to be the best version of myself I can be.

So as you can imagine October was a pretty crappy month for me and I didn’t have much motivation to do anything. But somehow I did still manage to read some wonderful books.

I decided while reading Stephanie’s September 2018 Recap post [shout out to Stephanie] that I should start doing a summary post each month.
A lot of bloggers do a monthly roundup /recap type posts. I’ve sporadically done it over the years in one form or another. I always read more books than I write up reviews for, and I want to try and shout out more of them. I won’t go into to detail on comics, as some months I smash quite a few single issues and that would make this post too long and a pain in the butt to write. So here we go.

Books read in October: total books read = 9

Comics/ Graphic Novels = 4

#LoveOzYA / #LoveOzMG = 5

Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah.
Published August 1st, 2005 by Pan Australia [View on Goodreads].
A contemporary tale of an Aussie Muslim teenage girl battling, then embracing her identity. This is not the first Abdel-Fattah book I’ve read and it won’t be the last.

All the Little Bones (Circus Hearts #1) by Ellie Marney.
Published September 1st, 2018 by Bearded Lady Press [View on Goodreads].
A dark romance that is fast, exciting and so delicious you’ll want more. Oh Ellie Marney I love you. All hail Ellie the queen of young-adult crime-romance mash-ups.

Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff.
Published March 14th, 2018 by Allen & Unwin [View on Goodreads].
A sci-fi symphony. The Pow-pow-ping-ping-BOOM-hacktastic and thrilling conclusion The Illuminae Files trilogy. Amie & Jay = pure sci-fi awesomeness.

All Fall Down (Circus Hearts #2) by Ellie Marney.
Published October 1st, 2018 by Bearded Lady Press [View on Goodreads].
Ellie Marney at it again with book two in the circus hearts series steaming up my reading space. Bring on book three!!! [Full REVIEW HERE].

The Bogan Mondrian by Steven Herrick.
Published September 3rd, 2018 by University of Qld Press [View on Goodreads].
A contemporary tale of friendship, grief and domestic violence. Steven Herrick is a brilliant storyteller and his books are always deep and meaningful, while being easy to read and entertaining. [Full REVIEW HERE].

Conclusion: Sometimes life is hard. Losing loved ones is always hard. We must make sure each moment counts. Steven Herrick is a gem and Ellie Marney is awesome.

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

Wind Rider blog tour + Giveaway

41086599

Wind Rider (Tales of a New World #3) by P.C. Cast
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication: October 30th 2018
Publisher: @macmillanaus
Add to Goodreads

Mari, Nik, and their newly formed Pack are being hunted. Thaddeus and the God of Death will stop at nothing until they are obliterated from the earth. But Mari and Nik have one goal: to reach the plains of the Wind Riders in order to band together to stop Thaddeus from destroying all that Mari and Nik hold dear.

But will the mysterious Wind Riders accept the Pack, or will Mari and Nik and their people be rejected by the mighty Riders and be forced to flee for their lives? And what happens when a rogue Lead Stallion gets too close to the Pack, rejecting all Wind Riders and turning to a stranger for companionship instead?

In the third instalment of the Tales of a New World series, love and goodness are put to the ultimate test. Will the Wind Riders and the Pack be strong enough to withstand the God of Death? Will the Great Goddess of Life awaken to join the battle and, if so, will it be as Death’s consort, or will the Goddess stand with Mari and her people against the great love of her eternal life?

To celebrate the release of Wind Rider (Tales of a New World #3), Pan Macmillan Australia has given me the opportunity to give away to one lucky reader the first three books in the Tales of a New World series!

GIVEAWAY T&C’s:
♥ Giveaway is open to Australian and New Zealand addresses only, sorry.
♥ You must be over 18 or have parents permission to enter.
♥ If randomly selected as the winner you will need to provide me your postal address so I can pass it on to Pan Macmillan for shipping of the prize pack.
♥ Giveaway will close at 12:00am AEST 16th November 2018.

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Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

Quotes Collection Part Nine

You only have to have been following me for a minute, to know i’m a SAGA fan. I read issue #44 back in July 2017 and was immediately drawn to the above text. It struck a chord in me and made me sit back as go “Shit, that sounds about right”.

I sat back and thought about all the things I was passionate about, and all the times I’d done stupid don’t-do-it things, and came to the conclusion that Brian was 100% on the money.

I’m lucky that this fact doesn’t bother me. I like to think I have to pretty open minded and compassionate parents who taught me good values and morals – even if I didn’t always follow them.

I found it interesting to ponder and the more I thought on it, the more I could see how the lives my parents lived with their parents had shaped them to be who they are.

SAGA, always providing food for thought! Seriously, if you haven’t picked this series up yet you really should. Here is another SAGA tidbit from back in late 2015.

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

Me, Myself and Thrive: Product Review

I’ve felt further and further under the weather for years now. You might remember when I was chasing down all my aches and pains and trying to self-manage with essential oils. A while back I finally broke down, gave up and went crying to my GP. My doctor then sent me for numerous tests and to multiple specialists. In the end I got a diagnosis of spondylo-arthritis, sleep apnoea and high blood pressure. Yay me! Not! But hey, it could be much worse. I’m on meds for the arthritis and blood pressure and have been seeing a Chiropractor and Remedial Massage Therapist regularly.

I’ve had all of the above compounding on me for years and the births of two children to add to it. But I’m not here to bitch and carry on about health issues. I’m here to talk about something proactive I’m doing to better my overall health.

I’ve got a friend who’s been harping-on, all over Facebook, about how she is now “Thriving”. She’s been doing this “Thriving” thing for quite a while now. Her name is Jody and I love her to pieces. So, SHOUT OUT TO JODY! Anyways, Jody sent me a ten-day sample of the health supplements she’d been using and being the super-special-critter I am, I wasn’t holding out much hope that I’d feel any different. I read a shit tonne of testimonies on the products and couldn’t see any reason not to give it a go.

What the heck is thrive you ask. Essentially you are taking a vitamin and mineral super bomb, with an appetite suppressant. So, think of it as going into the chemist and buying every Blackmores product there is and taking one of it each, every morning.

From day one I had more energy and my hunger was decreased. But from what I’ve read you are either a first day Thriver or don’t feel it kick in to around day ten.

This is a word for word message I sent to my friend Jody after a week Thriving.
“I got up at five this morning and did some light exercise before my shower/get dressed/get the kids up morning ritual. It’s the first time since having kids that I’ve managed to do this. I used to do yoga or go for a walk early in the mornings before I had the kids. So that feels like a step back in the right direction.”

I’ve been using it for over four months now and am still finding I’ve got more energy and am less hungry then I was pre-Thrive. I struggled to get out of bed pre-Thrive, constantly felt I was dragging myself through wet concreate, now I hop out and head off to do my stretches, computer work or catch up on some reading before the boys wake up. I hardly drink coffee anymore, only as a treat, not a way to survive. I don’t feel like I need it. And I was drinking two large cups just to get my brain functioning each morning pre-Thrive. There are still some days where I’ve had a bad night apnoea wise and all my efforts are destroyed for the day until I can get some rest. But that’s on a ratio of like, one to eight, so I can deal with that.

The biggest rule on Thrive is to make sure you drink heaps of water. At first your body is detoxing and will NEED plenty of water – that’s what I was told, and that’s how it felt. I was smashing down five plus litres of water a day during my first ten days, but that super thirst has calmed down now. Most days now I drink around four litres total.

Cost: It seems super expensive when you pay for a month’s supply but boils down to about $8.00 a day with the American dollar change over, once you add it into the auto-ship set up. It’s not financially sustainable for most people unless you’re flush with cash or have friends you can sign up with and share around the credits you receive. Yes, it is a business, so of course they offer you benefits for signing people up, it’s just like what I’ve encountered with doTerra and YLEO etc.

I’m not sure for how long I’ll keep the program up for, but even in the short term it has given me a well needed boost and got me living again.

The THRIVE 8-Week Experience is the fastest-growing health & wellness movement in the world. THREE premium nutritional based products have changed the world and created millions of success stories!
The THRIVE Experience is SIMPLE, FUN and it WORKS! Check it out…
That’s it! You’re set to THRIVE all day long! Learn more about the THRIVE 8-Week Experience [CLICK HERE]… a simple system with powerful results designed to fill in your nutritional deficiencies!

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

Bookish Babble: Quotes Collection Part Eight

I laughed out loud the first time I read the above two sentences. I’d never really thought about it. What does happen after they ride of into the sunset?

I read Steph Bowe’s Night Swimming back in May 2017. It is an LGBT friendly, adorable #LoveOzYA feel good romp about growing up, first love, true friendship, finding your inner strength and place in the world and finding the courage to move forward. It’s well worth a look.


33128455Night Swimming by Steph Bowe

Published April 3rd 2017
by Text Publishing

[Add to Goodreads]

Imagine being the only two seventeen-year-olds in a small town. That’s life for Kirby Arrow—named after the most dissenting judge in Australia’s history—and her best friend Clancy Lee, would-be musical star.

Clancy wants nothing more than to leave town and head for the big smoke, but Kirby is worried: her family has a history of leaving. She hasn’t heard from her father since he left when she was a baby. Shouldn’t she stay to help her mother with the goat’s-milk soap-making business, look after her grandfather who suffers from dementia, be an apprentice carpenter to old Mr Pool? And how could she leave her pet goat, Stanley, her dog Maude, and her cat Marianne?

But two things happen that change everything for Kirby. She finds an article in the newspaper about her father, and Iris arrives in town. Iris is beautiful, wears crazy clothes, plays the mandolin, and seems perfect, really, thinks Kirby. Clancy has his heart set on winning over Iris. Trouble is Kirby is also falling in love with Iris…

Dreaming Big: Guest Post by Brian Wilkinson

Brian Wilkinson attempts to juggle multiple careers as an author, high school teacher, and librarian. He currently lives in East York, Ontario, with his wife, Catherine, and his two children, Owen and Nora, who served as the inspiration for the main characters in his first novels, Battledoors and Paramnesia.


Brian Wilkinson

Once I finished writing my first novel, Battledoors, my mother eagerly read it and then said, “Wow, this would make a great movie!” I’ll admit, I got pretty excited at the notion and immediately started dreaming up all sorts of scenarios that culminated in my characters showing up on screen. I remember a few times when I was in a movie theatre and looking up at trailers playing on giant screens and all of the cardboard standees and posters and thinking, “That might be my book someday.” 

At that point, I didn’t even have a publishing contract for the book. That in and of itself would be a major success, and yet there I was, aiming for the 1% of books that are lucky enough to be translated into film.

That led me to wonder why the book alone wasn’t good enough. It’s a strange thing, when you really think about it, that the ultimate goal of your artistic creation is to hand it off to someone else to create, potentially, a more popular and consumed version of what you came up with. Maybe it’s because we equate that kind of visibility with success.

And there are lots of examples we can pull from. TwilightThe MartianReady Player OneHunger GamesDivergentLord of the Rings (masterful works in both cases), heck, even the AvengersX-Men, and Batman are all more popular because of the films, while the source material is left over for those who are willing to take the time to read them. And before you mention it, yes, there is the case of Harry Potter, which was a book phenomenon long before it became a film phenomenon, but I’ll tell you now that as a teacher and a librarian there are a lot more kids these days who have seen the films but not read the books.

For me, books are the best form of entertainment out there. My mind gets to create voices, imagine the landscape, and see in greater detail and more depth than the typical film run time allows for. There is a patience that is required and a level of focus that is all too often easily lost by an audience passively taking it in. At a theatre, I can pay attention. At home, I’m often distracted by some device or another. With a book, I have to really be present

And considering how much time it took me to write the things, I’d like any audience I’m lucky enough to have to be able to take their time with it and see it, hear it, and feel it for themselves however they might choose. 

All of that said, I wouldn’t argue if Hollywood came knocking on my door.

I know; I’m a terrible hypocrite. “But you just said that books are better!” you’re shouting at me. And yes, they are. Still, one can’t deny the awe and splendour of seeing someone else’s imagining of the same thing you read and comparing notes. Harry Potter, for the record, was pretty spot-on in its translation. For all of its deviations, Lord of the Rings is a stunning achievement. The Hobbit… not so much.  Still, those are books that earned their place on the silver screen by building an audience and by rising to meet the lofty standards that the books set up. It’s exciting to see a great filmmaker do something special with your work and hold it up as the gold standard. I mean, seriously, Ernest Cline got Steven Spielberg to adapt his first-ever novel! How cool is that?

So, yes, I’ll dream big and stare at the movie poster on the wall. And yes, it would be cool. No, I’m not about to put together a “dream cast” for my books, as I would get it all totally wrong. The only actor I ever pictured bringing any of my characters to life was Patton Oswalt in the role of Dr. Westlake from my second novel, Paramnesia. Don’t know why, either. The rest of the characters I’d leave in the hands of others. Why? Well, I never would have tapped Chris Pratt for Starlord. I cringed at Chris Evans as Captain America. And who the heck is Gal Gadot?

See? All of those people are amazing in their roles to the points where the comic characters are adapting to match up. Now that’s something special. Nope. Leave the casting to someone else.

But look, you’ve caught me dreaming absurdly big again. I’m already doing that just by getting published in the first place and hoping, just hoping, that someone finds my books, reads them, enjoys them, and watches the movie versions play out in their own heads. Isn’t that amazing? Isn’t that the definition already of a huge amount of success?

It’s more than good enough for me.


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Battledoors: The Golden Slate

Life constantly seems to be wavering between really good and really bad for Owen, a lonely sixteen-year-old still reeling from the unexpected death of his mother and a fresh move to Toronto. After ducking into an old bookstore to escape high school bullies, Owen discovers that he can travel to a parallel, twisted version of the city with a magical tablet called a Battledoor, where he encounters new allies, bizarre creatures, and the ultimate antagonist who will stop at nothing to procure the magical Golden Slate for himself. 

Forced to work together with friends and enemies in order to return home, Owen is faced with a series of choices that will prompt him to find courage he never knew he had, explore the possibility of romance, and try to find a way to let go of his painful past and move on. But is Owen ready to finally take control, and become the protagonist of his own story?


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Paramnesia: The Deadish Chronicles

Nora Edwards finally had everything she wanted out of life, including the boy of her dreams, Andrew, until one night that dream turned into a nightmare. On their way home from prom, Nora and Andrew are attacked by a supernatural creature called the Revenant that sucks the souls out of the living in order to feed itself. Nora manages to escape from the creature, but tragically, Andrew is not as fortunate.

Although Nora suffered loss that night, she gained something, as well: the ability to see the dead. Whether the skill is a gift or a curse is yet to be determined, as those around her assume Nora has developed “paramnesia,” a disorder where one confuses dreams with reality. She’s also attracted the attention of the Revenant’s masters, who need to preserve the secret of their supernatural existence. Nora, along with Andrew and her living and dead allies in the Deadish Society, quickly finds herself in a battle for the souls of her city—and her mind.


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