The Acadian Star competition is the biggest thing to ever happen in Meg Gallant’s small Cape Breton town. Meg dreams of performing onstage with her best friend Nève. If they’re lucky, they might even make it to the finals in Halifax.

But Meg’s weird old aunt, Tante Perle, has been acting stranger and stranger-and just before the finale of the competition, she whisks Meg away from everything she knows. Meg suddenly finds herself trapped in the time of the tragic Acadian Deportation-where she must choose between escaping to her own time or saving a girl who looks remarkably like Nève.

Why is she trapped in the eighteenth century? Will she be able to save this stranger, so quickly becoming a friend? And where does Tante Perle fit in with all this?

This remarkable book for middle readers introduces us to contemporary Acadian characters, and also offers a young girl’s perspective on the Acadian Deportation.

Hélène Boudreau is an Acadian writer and artist. A native of Isle Madame, Nova Scotia, she writes fiction and non-fiction for children and young adults from her home in Markham, Ontario. Her writing has appeared in various Canadian publications and her Maritime-themed art has been exhibited by the Toronto Public Library. This is her debut novel. The manuscript won 2nd prize in the 2008 New Brunswick Writers’ Federation Literary Competition for juvenile fiction.

PRAISE FOR ACADIAN STAR:

A must read!

The Acadian Star is a touching tale of the power of friendship between Meg and Nève, spanning several generations. This fast-moving story has the right amount of suspense and some moments of pure magic as it moves towards an exciting dénouement. Boudreau’s love for Acadia shines through and adds a wonderful touch of verisimilitude to the narrative. A must read!

-Mahtab Narsimhan (author of THE THIRD EYE)

Lose yourself in the novel!

Helene Boudreau weaves an exciting and eloquent time-travel tale. From the first page on, the reader is drawn into the lives of young Meg Gallant and her mysterious and crazy old Tante Perle. An absolute must read!

-Marina Cohen (author of TRICK OF THE LIGHT and SHADOW OF THE MOON)

A new Canadian classic

On the night of her performance in a singing competition, Meg Gallant is magically transported back 200 years to the time of the Acadian Deportation. Putting her own life at risk, she struggles to change history in order to salvage her friendship with Nève back in the present.

With lyrical prose, Hélène Boudreau has written an enchanting tale of friendship and destiny with her debut novel, ‘Acadian Star’. And within these pages, she offers young readers an emotional glimpse into an important time in Canadian history – the Acadian Deportation. A delightful blend of ‘old’ and ‘new’, readers will find that the historical subject matter is perfectly balanced with the lighter themes of friendship and family.

-Deborah Kerbel (author of MACKENZIE, LOST AND FOUND)

A moving and exciting adventure

Acadian Star, by Hélène Boudreau, is a suspenseful adventure set partly in modern-day Cape Breton, partly in another time. The heart of the story is about friendship, something that’s especially important to young girls growing up. Pre-teen Meg Gallant and her cousin, Nève, have been best friends all their lives. Today is the day they’ll compete as a dancing/singing team in the Acadian Star Competition. If they win they’ll go on to the finals in Halifax. But there’s a shadow on the day: Nève will soon have to move away with her family, and their friendship could be broken forever.

According to Meg’s great-aunt, Tante Perle, this has happened before. The story goes back to the time of the Acadian Deportation, 250 years ago, when thousands of Acadians were evicted from their homeland. Something else happened then that has brought sadness and separation to a girl in each generation of Gallants. Each one has had the chance to go back and put things right, and each has failed. Now it’s Meg’s turn. She’s whisked back through time and plunked down in the middle of the deportation. Can she prevent heartbreak this time? Right up to the end, the reader won’t know whether or not she succeeds – or how the competition turns out!

Hélène Boudreau has deep roots in the Acadian tradition: she was born on Isle Madame, in Nova Scotia. Her love for the land and the people shines through and, at a key moment in the story, will bring tears to the reader’s eyes, no matter what their background.

-Patricia Bow (author of The Prism Blade, Ruby Kingdom, The Spiral Maze, The Bone Flute)

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Book Giveaway!

Date: Wednesday May 21, 2008
Posted in: Good news!

Hi everyone,

Carol Spradling’s debut novel, COST OF FREEDOM is due for release on May 30.  Jen Hendren, has posted a contest for an ebook giveaway on her blog. If you’d like to participate and have a chance to win a free ebook of COST OF FREEDOM, please go to Jen’s blog.

Make sure to say I sent ya (I think I get bonus points hee hee)

I hope to see you there and good luck!!!



According to plan…or not

Date: Monday May 5, 2008
Posted in: writing

I’m a list maker,  a task master and a goal setter. Nothing pleases me more than to tick off items on my list. I love mapping out my day, my month, my year, my life and checking off milestones as I meet them.

Anal? Yes. Absolutely.

In fact, I assert this mentality on others whenever I can. Who was the one who instigated the ‘Goal setting’ exercise within my critique group? Guilty. But don’t mock, the monthly exercise is still going strong two years later.

How many times have I set out to lose those last 10 lbs, itemizing each workout week after week? Moi. (But don’t ask me how well that’s gone…sigh)

So it should come as no surprise that in my writing work, I’m an outliner. Not your–and then this happens, and that happens, which causes this to happen–kind of outliner, but I definitely have a method to my, um, madness.

First I set up my Word document with all of my chapter headers in a neat document map. Ah, so pleasing to the eye. Then I put in a sentence for each chapter of what I figure is going to happen. Then I draft my first three chapters. Then I write my last chapter. Then I fill in the holes in between. What could be more logical, more sane, more civilized?

What I haven’t told you yet is the initial plan I start off with is usually NOTHING like the end result. You see, these mad gremlins leap out at me as I write and yell at me–”NO! Your main character would NOT do that, you idiot!!”  or “Don’t be a sissy, make him squirm!!” or “You need to kill that character. Do it! Do it! You know you want to!!” and the wheels fall off of my best laid plans.

And you know what? Even though the gremlins are ugly and they make me squirm and I want them to go away because I had a perfectly good plot before they poked their snotty little heads into my story, sometimes they’re right. So I pat myself on the back and say “Good now, I listened to you  and yes, you’re right, the story IS better, so get out of my manuscript, I’m the writer here.  Bugger off, ugly, snot-nosed gremlins, I have a book to write.”

So I keep writing, but now I have a NEW outline, a BETTER plan and I think it can’t be any better than this and I’m writing along my merry way, feeling pretty smug.  “I’m so clever,” I say to myself as I make my character squirm, just like the snotty-nosed gremlin said to and it works out great, and I continue along my NEW and BETTER outline. But even though I have planned and planned and planned…I hit a snag.

So I go have a shower, cause I do my best thinking in the shower. Maybe it’s all that steam opening up my pores and metaphorically it’s also opening up my MIND pores–yeah that’s it– and I’m thinking and thinking and wondering what ifs and I’m lathering, rinsing and repeating when all of a sudden there’s a tap on my shoulder and I look back to see this snotty looking, ugly gremlin and he flicks soap in my eye and I say “HEY!”

But the snotty looking, ugly gremlin ignores me and says, “You moron, I told you to make that character squirm and now look what you’ve done!” and I say, “But I did! And quit flicking soap in my eye.” and the snotty, ugly gremlin says, “Why not? That’s all you did to your character. A mere flick of soap in his eye. SO WHAT? You’re being too nice!! You’re making it too easy! RAISE THE STAKES! Don’t be a pansy!”

So I go back and see that yes, I have made it too easy. And darn that snotty, grubby no-good gremlin, but I take the plunge and RAISE THE STAKES and flick more and more soap in my character’s eye and my character now hates me but it makes him work harder and it makes him do things that I never knew was in him and makes other characters react to him in surprising ways and it makes the book better and the story more interesting and the ending all that more exciting…

And then I finish the first draft and have to start the process all over again.

Well, that’s the plan anyway…

:-)

So show of hands–are you a planner or a pantser?