Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award Tour

Date: Sunday May 9, 2010
Posted in: Acadian Star

I’m packing as I type (well, taking a break from packing as I type) but tomorrow morning, bright and early, I’ll be winging my way to New Brunswick to take part in the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award tour. 

ACADIAN STAR was nominated for the 2009/2010 Hackmatack Program and I’ll be joining several other nominated authors, visiting schools throughout the Atlantic Provinces.

I am SO looking forward to meeting all the kids who took part in the program and excited to talk to them about one of my favourite things: BOOKS!

Here’s my schedule for the tour, so if I’m coming to your school, don’t be shy–say HI! The public library readings are open to the public so please drop in!

Reading 1: May 11 10:00 am: Nashwaaksis Public School Library, 324 Fulton Ave., Fredericton
Reading 2: May 11 1:10 pm: George Street Middle School, Fredericton
Reading 3: May 12 9:30 am: Oromocto Library, 54 Miramichi Rd, Fredericton
Reading 4: May 13 1:30 pm: Saint John Free Public Library, West branch, St. John

For more information on the Hackmatack Awards and how to participate for next year, check HERE.


What’s that sound?

Date: Saturday March 7, 2009
Posted in: Acadian Star,Good news!

Could that be the whirr of the printing press as ACADIAN STAR goes off for its second printing?


Well, yes indeed, it is!

When ACADIAN STAR was first published, I remember thinking ‘Geesh, who’s going to buy all those books? My family is big, but not THAT big’, but somehow Nimbus has gone through the first print run and it’s off to the presses once more.


Thanks so much to all my friends, fans (and family!) who’ve bought ACADIAN STAR. It’s been wonderful, reading your reviews on Chapters/Indigo on Amazon and Goodreads. I also appreciate all your lovely notes on my facebook fan page and here on my website.

I can’t believe it was only one year ago when my Nimbus editor called to tell me they were interested in publishing ACADIAN STAR. Yes, her message got cut off on the answering machine (oops!), but thankfully she persisted and here we are, one year later with an award nomination and a second printing.

What a wild ride!


Date: Tuesday March 3, 2009
Posted in: Acadian Star,Good news!

I always wanted to say that! And now I can!



I got a lovely e-mail from my publisher today, congratulating me on ACADIAN STAR’s nomination for the 2009/2010 Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award.

From the Hackmatack site:

The Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award is a literary program designed for young readers in Atlantic Canada. Each year, thousands of children aged nine to twelve (grades four to 6) read from the selection of outstanding Canadian books and vote for the winners. The award is designed after similar successful programs in Ontario (The Silver Birch Award) and British Columbia (The Red Cedar Award).

The Hackmatack Award was established with young readers in mind and serves to achieve the following objectives:

  • to promote and advance reading and literacy among school-aged children in Atlantic Canada
  • to participate in and promote a regional program in schools that will encourage young readers
  • to foster the development and appreciation of writing in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, in both official languages, through a reading program
  • to work with public libraries to encourage readers through a developed reading program
  • to encourage a greater official public recognition of the work of Canadian writers

Thank you to the wonderful team at Nimbus and to all my friends, family and fans for your amazing support over the past year.

Can I hear a WOOHOO?!

ACADIAN STAR Ontario launch! (and cupcake carnage)

Date: Friday November 28, 2008
Posted in: Acadian Star

I’m coming off the high of another wonderful ACADIAN STAR event (or maybe those are the extra sprinkles on my cupcake talking).

The Ontario launch was held this morning at the Markham Village Library. What a GORGEOUS library!

The children’s librarian, Jennifer, was wonderful and had prepared the space for our arrival. And by the way, Markham residents are some of the most prolific library users in Canada. Yay, Markhamites!! 


About 90 people were in attendance, lots of familiar faces and some new friendships, too! I talked about being an author, answered lots of amazing questions (kids ask SUCH good questions) read a chapter of ACADIAN STAR and signed lots and lots of books afterward.

And of course, what’s a party without cupcakes…

Oops! I was a bit too late for the ‘before’ picture.

Thanks for coming, everyone! And thanks to the Markham Village Library for helping to make this event such a huge success!

It’s events like these that remind me what a wonderful job our librarians are doing promoting books and getting people excited about reading. So if you haven’t already, please get a library card and visit your local library!

Come to my launch! Invite your friends!

Date: Friday November 21, 2008
Posted in: Acadian Star

If you’re anywhere near Markham, Ontario next Friday (click to enlarge):

ACADIAN STAR launch…debrief

Date: Tuesday October 28, 2008
Posted in: Acadian Star

What an amazing week! I know I promised many of you a blow-by-blow debrief and I will attempt to do so here. For those who want a quick snapshot of, um, snapshots from the launch, check THIS out. (Just give it a sec to load)

I landed at the airport on Thursday night and hit the ground running Friday morning with a couple of quick meetings with the folks at Nimbus. Seriously, the nicest people, so supportive and fantastic (I’m a lucky author!). Then I headed off on my 4 hour drive to Cape Breton, stopping off at L’Ecole Acadienne de Pomquet on my way. I’d just popped in to donate a copy of ACADIAN STAR to their library, but their very gracious principal invited me to do a school visit the following week. But, of course!

Saturday was the big launch at La Picasse’s, Petit de Grat library. (My hometown, Woot!) I was stunned, flabbergasted, utterly overwhelmed to see about 65 people gathered. Here are a few pics:

Lots of laughs, great sales, lots of wonderful memories. The Reporter newspaper was on hand to take pictures and a reporter from Le Courier (the provincial Acadian paper) was there as well. He’s since read the book, with great reports and will be doing a story. Yay!

Sunday, I was off to New Glasgow and Antigonish for more signings. Then on Monday, I was super happy to be doing back to back presentations at Beauport School (my old high school!) The kids were AWESOME and had fantastic questions. Later that day, I had a television interview at Telile Television:


Tuesday, I took the day off and slept. Zzzzzzzzzzz……….

Then on Wednesday, I did two sessions at Pomquet School. Again, totally AWESOME students. Definitely a hilight. The Casket newspaper was there and I just found out that my picture is in today’s paper. Cool!

Wednesday afternoon, I skadoodled back to Halifax since, bright and early on Thursday morning, I had lined up three school drop-ins.

Friday, was a television interview with Starr Dobson of Live at Five (and Yes! it was LIVE…at five). I managed to get through the four minutes without dissolving into a puddle, though please pay no mind to the fact that my teeth kept getting stuck to my upper lip. Seriously, what is THAT all about? I just need to capture the video from the DVD and maybe I’ll post it here in a couple of days.

Later that night, I had a bookstore signing at Halifax Shopping Center and was SO pleased to see old friends popping in to the store. People I hadn’t seen in years and years! What a treat. A few people said they’d seen the Live at Five promo and popped over to buy a book. (Neat!) Great sales, too. Apparently, I broke a store book signing record. Woohoo!!

One last signing at Chapters, Micmac Mall on Saturday. Super awesome staff, fantastic people–what a great way to end the week!!

I really had used up all my good fortune for one week, but amazingly, I was surprised to get even more wonderful news.


An excerpt from my YA novel “October Storm” (work in progress) was awarded an Honourable Mention in the Surrey International Writers’ Conference Literary Competition. Woot!

The same manuscript was also just awarded a juried literary grant from the Ontario Arts Council on Wednesday. Double Woot!

Wow. Just Wow.

Arrived home at the airport Sunday morning to big hugs from DH and my two little chicklets. They’d made me Welcome Home presents: Little M gave me a dozen multicoloured popsicle sticks wrapped up in a scrap of cloth. Little C gave me her piggy bank.


Life doesn’t get any better.

Final winner! See you on the flipside…

Date: Wednesday October 15, 2008
Posted in: Acadian Star,Contests

Thanks to everyone who entered my three-week-long book contest extravaganza! I had over 100 entries in total and had a blast reading all of your inventive comments.

I’m off on the ACADIAN STAR book tour tomorrow. If anyone is near and dear to the following locations, dew drop inn–I’d love to see ya!!

Saturday, Oct 18, 2:00-3:30 pm— Official Launch, Petit de Grat Library
Sunday, Oct 19, 12:00-2:00 pm— 563 Coles Antigonish
Sunday, Oct 19, 3:30-5:00 pm — 152 Coles New Glasgow
Friday, Oct 24, 7:00-9:00 pm — 221 Coles Halifax Shopping Centre
Saturday, Oct 25, 2:00-4:00 pm— 914 Chapters Dartmouth

I don’t have a lot of time this week to keep you in suspense (gotta pack!) so I’ll cut to the chase. The winner this week is EV BISHOP!

Congratulations, Ev!

Check out Ev’s short story “My Mom is a Freak” in Cleavage – Breakaway Fiction for Real Girls, a Sumach Press anthology (September 2008), edited by Deb Loughead & Jocelyn Shipley.

Thanks to everyone for all your support and enthusiasm for ACADIAN STAR. Books are being shipped to stores, and people have been reporting that they’ve received their Amazon copies.

Hope you enjoy it!

What a fun time I’ve been having with this contest! Last week, your challenge was to post a comment with the word *CHAPTER* to celebrate the fact that I’ve posted the first chapter of ACADIAN STAR on my website. Check it out HERE, if you haven’t already.

And YES, I’ve picked a winner. Entries from this week were added to last week’s, giving me 83 to choose from. To keep things on the up-and-up, I used my handy dandy on-line Random Number Generator to pick the recipient of a free copy of ACADIAN STAR and I’m about to announce the WINNER.


I won’t even make you wait like I did last time.

Oh, wait a sec, first I need to tell you all about my upcoming book tour, coming up next week. I’m kicking off the tour in my hometown of Petit de Grat at the Petit de Grat Library and am SO excited. Here’s the 411:

Saturday, Oct 18, 2:00-3:30 pm— Official Launch, Petit de Grat Library

Oh, and something else, I need to show you the pretty invitation Nimbus Publishing created for my official launch:

It shows up kinda teeny here, but isn’t it nice? Click on it, if you want to see the actual size.

Volume One Bookstore from Port Hawkesbury will be on hand, selling books.

Oh, oh, and something else, if you can’t make it to Petit de Grat (but you SHOULD some day, cause it’s SO pretty there), I have lots of other bookstore signings to choose from:

Sunday, Oct 19, 12:00-2:00 pm— 563 Coles Antigonish
Sunday, Oct 19, 3:30-5:00 pm — 152 Coles New Glasgow
Friday, Oct 24, 7:00-9:00 pm — 221 Coles Halifax Shopping Centre
Saturday, Oct 25, 2:00-4:00 pm— 914 Chapters Dartmouth

So please pop by if you’re in the area! (let me know in the comments) I’d love to see you.

And, hmm, what else did I want to tell you all? Oh, yeah! Silly me. The winner! And I even told you I wouldn’t make you wait. The WINNER of this week’s free copy of ACADIAN STAR is…


Beryl Cole-Boudreau!!!


Congratulations, Beryl!!

To those who haven’t won, sorry! :-( But you have one LAST CHANCE.

To add another entry for your LAST CHANCE to win a free copy of ACADIAN STAR, just add a comment to this message with the word *LAUNCH*.

‘Cause now that I have all the dates confirmed for next week’s book tour, ACADIAN STAR is a go for launch!


Thank you ALL so much for entering my *STAR* studded contest! I received over 70 entries from across Canada, the US, Europe and as far away as Australia.


Bet you wanna know who the winner is, huh? I’m getting to that. But before I spill the beans, a couple of announcements:

Now, without further ado the WINNER of this week’s free copy of ACADIAN STAR is:


Cathy MacNeil Ellsworth!!!

Congratulations, Cathy!

Also! Please visit my very good friend and launch buddy, Lois Peterson, as she launches her debut book, MEETING MISS 405, an Orca Young Reader. Lois is an amazing writer. I know, because I had the very good fortune of reading part of MM405 pre-publication.

Congratulations, Lois!


Date: Tuesday September 23, 2008
Posted in: Acadian Star

It’s true! There is only ONE WEEK until October 1st and the release of ACADIAN STAR!



To celebrate, I’m having a contest! YAY!


Would you like to win a free copy? Cause I’m giving a book away each week until the official launch of ACADIAN STAR, October 18th, 2:00 pm at the Petit de Grat library.


And it is SO simple to enter. Just leave a comment here with the word STAR and you’re entered! (limited one per customer) Could it BE any easier?


But WAIT, it gets even better.  If you tell your friends about the contest and they enter and mention you told them about it, you get TWO chances to win!


AND, if you visit my fanpage on FACEBOOK, you can enter there, too!!


THREE chances to win. How cool is that? So many ways to get your very own copy!


And if you share the love and link this contest to your blog, let me know in the comments, too. Cause, yup, you guessed it:


That’s FOUR: FOUR chances to win!! BWAHAHAHA (I feel my inner Count Von Count trying to bust out.)




Then again, you can visit your local bookstore after October 1st.


Or order it from AMAZON:


Or Chapters/Indigo:


That’s always an option. :-)


So ENTER! And TELL YOUR FRIENDS. Invite them to enter, TOO!


First draw will be October 1st.

Good luck!

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