Tag Archives: Canadian author

Book Review: Sarah – by Jean Edwards Stacey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book: Sarah
Author: Jean Edwards Stacey
Illustrator: Necie
Publisher: DRC Publishing
Date: October 15, 2016
Genre: Children's picture book; music
Pages: 40
Price: $12.95
My rating: a story about generations of family

 

Sarah by Jean Edwards Stacey is a “traditional song made famous by Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers, featuring Ray Johnson.” Ray inspired this book to be written as it was a song his father used to sing.

The story goes that a young couple married and had a son a few years later. That son grew up, married, and he and his wife had a little girl. They named their daughter Sarah, after her grandmother.

Sarah liked to ask her grandmother about how her grandparents met. The story goes on, humorously, about her grandfather trying to date her grandmother, about her great-grandmother trying to chase him off, and how funny it all was years later.

The illustrations are bright and sunny. In the back of the book is the sheet music with the words of the song.

You can find Sarah by Jean Edwards Stacey on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and on Chapters.Indigo if available there.

Your comments here for the author and illustrator are very much appreciated.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Advertisements

Book Review: Sky Pig – by Jan L. Coates

 

 

 

 

 

Book: SkyPig
Author: Jan L. Coates
Illustrator: Suzanne Del Rizzo
Publisher: Pajama Press
Date: April 1, 2016 - Canada; September, 2016 - USA
Genre: children's picture book; 4 - 7 yrs; K - 2
Pages: 32
Price: $19.95
My rating: a sweet story of determination and friendship

 

If this book looks familiar to my regular readers, it is because I mentioned it in this blog post last year. 

Here is Jan reading her book at the launch in May of 2016.

 

 

 

SkyPig by Jan L. Coates is a sweet story about friendship and determination. 

Ollie, a little pig, wanted so very much to fly. He watched birds, and airplanes, and bugs, and things being blown in the wind, and he wanted to fly more than anything. His friend Jack, being an inventive boy, did all he could to try to help him attain his dream – even though everybody knows pigs can’t fly.

To launch Ollie airborne they collected leafy branches and fastened them onto his back. They climbed all the way to the top of a very high hill, and Ollie did his very best to fly. Just when he was thinking, “I’m flying! I’m flying, I’m …” Crash! he came down hard, and sadly limped home.

Since that unsuccessful attempt didn’t dampen Ollie’s determination, Jack helped him construct a kite (fail), then wings with feathers and things (fail), and more inventions to try to make Ollie fly. Nothing worked, and nothing made Ollie smile, until the day they discovered something wondrous. 

Illustrator Suzanne Del Rizzo created amazing illustrations for Sky Pig. To quote: “The illustrations were rendered with plasticine, polymer clay, paper collage, milkweed fluff, watch gears, and other doodads.”  Take a close look at the cover illustration to see many of those doodads.

Sky Pig was a selection for the 2016 Best Books for Kids & Teens, won the 2017 Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for excellence in illustration, and was a finalist for the 2017 Shining Willow Award.

Sky Pig by Jan L. Coates is an inspiring story written with repetition of some phrases and humour children will love. Her word choices are delightful. Suzanne Del Rizzo‘s illustrations are gorgeous and complement the story perfectly. When you get to read this book, watch for two little friends who appear in almost every picture with Ollie and Jack, adding a smile for the reader.

You can find Sky Pig by Jan L. Coates on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and Chapters.Indigo when the book is available there.

Please encourage an author and illustrator by leaving a comment. Thank you.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 

Book Review: The King of Keji – by Jan L. Coates

 

 

 

 


Book: The King of Keji
Author: Jan L. Coates
Illustrator: Patsy MacKinnon
Publisher: Nimbus Publishing Ltd.
Date: September 1, 2015
Genre: children's picture book; age 5 - 8;  K - 3
Pages: 32
Price: $12.95
My rating: lovely story of discovering treasures hidden 
in plain sight

The King of Keji by Jan L. Coates is another book I purchased at the children’s book fair in 2016. Personal note: When Nova Scotia’s Kejimkujik National Park was in its early development stage my dad was one of the skilled workers on site making that happen. I was a young girl then and one weekend my mother, sister, and I went along and stayed overnight with Dad in one of the cabins a short but safe distance from the construction.

In The King of Keji we meet Jacob, a young boy who is tired of being second to his older brother. His brother is always king of the castle which makes Jacob the dirty rascal – a nursery rhyme game – so his grandfather teaches Jacob about being a king in nature. Gramps takes Jacob to Kejimkujik National Part for a weekend of camping, hiking, and searching for hidden treasure. Hidden treasure is different from buried treasure, so Jacob learns to look for the things hidden in plain sight, things he would otherwise easily overlook.

They discuss what treasures a king would have and thought of a sceptre,  antiques, turquoise, diamonds, jade, emeralds, and several more. Jacob finds a long piece of driftwood that works well as a sceptre and they set out. While hiking, Gramps takes pictures of the things they find. Some of the treasures were the emerald-green leaves of an ancient hemlock tree, the diamond sparkle of the lake, the jade colour of frogs sitting on moss-covered rocks, and the gold and ruby colours of the sunset that night. Jacob feels like a king with all that treasure – even though they took nothing away with them except pictures – and learns how to be more observant and respectful of his surroundings.

The King of Keji is a story very well told, full of description and the allurement of a nature hike in one of Nova Scotia’s beautiful provincial parks. The illustrations by Patsy MacKinnon are full of nature’s colours. The reader gets to appreciate the variety found in Keji park from the huge trees along the hiking trails, to the animals that live there and in the salt marsh, to the glorious sky as the sun is setting.

The King of Keji by Jan L. Coates encourages readers to be more aware of what’s around them in nature, and to appreciate the treasures already provided for us.

You can find The King of Keji by Jan L. Coates on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and sometimes Chapters.Indigo.

Thank you for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

Interview with Melanie Florence, and a book giveaway!

It’s amazing to me that I haven’t interviewed anyone on my blog since 2014! Today I have the remedy for that shortfall.

It’s my great pleasure to introduce to you Canadian author Melanie Florence who wrote Missing Nimâmâ – the award-winning picture book that I reviewed on April 25. See my review HERE.

Welcome to my blog, Melanie, and thank you for doing this
interview. Please tell us a little about yourself. 

I’M NOT SURE WHAT TO SAY! THAT’S ALWAYS THE HARDEST QUESTION. UMMM…I’M A FULL-TIME WRITER. I LIVE IN TORONTO WITH MY FAMILY. I LIKE HARRY POTTER AND DOCTOR WHO AND I CAN NEVER FIGURE OUT HOW TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION. 😉
Good answer, though. The questions get easier as we go along. 🙂
When did you first know you wanted to be a writer? Who or what inspired you?
I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A WRITER. I WROTE STORIES WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL OR WOULD TAKE A STORY I HAD READ AND REWRITE IT SO I WOULD HAVE A PART IN IT AS WELL. I THOUGHT I’D GO LIVE BESIDE STEPHEN KING AND TRADE IDEAS AND WRITE GREAT BOOKS THAT PEOPLE LOVED TO READ.
Now, that’s impressive – rewriting stories you’d read and writing yourself into them, I mean. You’ve proven you don’t need Stephen King as your neighbour to write great books. 🙂 As a writer, do you do much reading? Who were/are your favourite authors or books?
OF COURSE! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE HARRY POTTER SERIES. I’VE ALSO READ J.K. ROWLING’S BOOKS THAT SHE WROTE AS ROBERT GALBRAITH AND LOVED THOSE AS WELL. I’M A STEPHEN KING FAN. I LOVE NEIL GAIMAN AND KENNETH OPPEL. BASICALLY ANYONE WHO CAN WEAVE A WONDERFUL STORY THAT I CAN DISAPPEAR INTO.
Have you ever felt like giving up? When did you finally believe in yourself so you can say “I am a writer”?
ABSOLUTELY. WRITING IS HARD! I’M REALLY NOT SURE WHEN I COULD COMFORTABLY CALL MYSELF A WRITER – BUT I STILL DOUBT MYSELF SOMETIMES. I ALWAYS WONDER IF I’LL SELL MY NEXT BOOK. OR TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHICH IDEA IS THE RIGHT ONE TO WORK ON NEXT. ANY JOB WHERE YOU HAVE TO RELY ON SOMEONE ELSE IS TOUGH. 
Do you have a favourite motto or quote or Bible verse that you try to live by and that helps to keep you going?
NOT REALLY. I FEEL LIKE I SHOULD COME UP WITH ONE NOW! MAYBE “But you know, happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
I had to Google that quote … Albus Dumbledore of Harry Potter fame. It’s a good quote.
What do you remember about the very first time you were published? How did that come about?
OH MAN. WHAT A CRAZY TIME! I HAD ACTUALLY SENT IN A GRANT APPLICATION FOR A YA NOVEL I WAS WORKING ON AND HAD AN EDITOR CONTACT ME ABOUT IT. ALTHOUGH I WAS WORKING ON THAT, THEY ASKED IF I HAD ANY INTEREST IN WRITING A SPORTS BIOGRAPHY ON AN INDIGENOUS ATHLETE. I SAID YES AND DECIDED ON JORDIN TOOTOO. WITHIN A WEEK, THEIR SISTER COMPANY ASKED IF I WAS INTERESTED IN WRITING A HISTORY OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AND RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS AND AGAIN, I SAID YES. SO I SOLD MY FIRST TWO BOOKS WITHIN A WEEK. I CAN’T TELL YOU HOW EXCITING IT WAS TO SEE MY NAME ON A BOOK FOR THE FIRST TIME. IT’S STILL KIND OF EXCITING ACTUALLY.
WOW!! That’s amazing! Many writers would love to be in that position.
What have you had published thus far, and of those what have you most enjoyed writing?
HMM. MY SECOND PICTURE BOOK IS COMING OUT IN SEPTEMBER. MY THIRD NON-FICTION BOOK IS COMING OUT IN…ALSO SEPTEMBER, I THINK. AND MY…FIFTH??? NOVEL COMES OUT IN MAY. I ENJOYED WRITING ALL OF THEM. 🙂
Congratulations for taking the writing world by storm!
What process do you go through when writing and perfecting your work?
I DON’T THINK IT’S EVER PERFECT IN MY OWN HANDS…THAT’S WHAT MY EDITORS ARE FOR. I TRY TO CREATE A GOOD OUTLINE (I DIDN’T OUTLINE MY FIRST COUPLE OF BOOKS. IT’S MUCH EASIER TO OUTLINE THEM.) AND WORK FROM THAT. I TRY TO JUST SIT DOWN AND WRITE WITHOUT OVERTHINKING OR GOING BACK TO FIX THINGS. THAT HAPPENS LATER.
What method do you use to keep track of your writing ideas?
NOTEBOOKS! I HAVE A TON OF NOTEBOOKS THAT I’VE BEEN JOTTING IDEAS AND WRITING BITS AND PIECES IN FOR YEARS. IT’S HARD TO FIND THE RIGHT ONE LATER THOUGH. SOMETIMES I TYPE THEM INTO MY PHONE FOR LATER TOO.
You do better than I do. My ideas are definitely in need of better filing.
What inspired you to write Missing Nimâmâ? And why a children’s book?
I WAS READING ABOUT MMIW – OR TRYING TO – AND NOT FINDING MUCH. I COULDN’T BELIEVE THAT IT WASN’T BEING COVERED IN THE NEWS. NO ONE SEEMED TO CARE ABOUT THESE WOMEN OR THEIR FAMILIES. THEY DIDN’T HAVE A VOICE AND I WANTED TO GIVE THEM ONE. SO I WROTE MISSING NIMAMA. I REMEMBER SITTING IN MY EDITOR’S OFFICE, LOOKING AT THE STAMP COLLECTOR (WHICH SHE ALSO EDITED) AND SAYING “SOMEONE NEEDS TO WRITE A BOOK LIKE THIS ABOUT MMIW”. WE KIND OF BRAINSTORMED FROM THERE. WHY A CHILDREN’S BOOK? I DON’T KNOW. I HAD ALREADY WRITTEN A YA NOVEL ABOUT THE ISSUE. SOMEHOW I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A BEAUTIFUL STORY AS A PICTURE BOOK IF I COULD TELL IT THE RIGHT WAY.
For our readers: MMIW stands for “missing & murdered Indigenous women.”
You definitely told it in the right way. Did you have to do much research? Was it hard to write? If so, how did you stick with it and why? How did you come up with that title?
I HAD ALREADY DONE MY RESEARCH FOR ANOTHER BOOK ON THE SAME SUBJECT AND I’M A MOM. SO I WROTE IT FROM THAT PLACE – BEING A MOTHER AND CONSIDERING THE EFFECT IT WOULD HAVE ON MY DAUGHTER IF I WASN’T HERE ANYMORE. IT WAS INCREDIBLY HARD AND EMOTIONALLY DRAINING. BUT I REALLY FELT IT WAS IMPORTANT FOR ME TO WRITE IT. I THINK I CAME UP WITH MISSING MOTHER AND MY EDITOR THOUGHT USING THE CREE WORD FOR MOTHER WOULD BE BETTER. SO WE CALLED IT MISSING NIMAMA.
You said earlier you found your first publisher when you applied for a grant. How did you go about finding an editor? and do you have an agent?

I WAS ALREADY WORKING WITH MY EDITOR, CHRISTIE, ON ANOTHER PROJECT. ACTUALLY, I THINK WE WERE JUST TALKING ABOUT A POTENTIAL PROJECT. SHE LOVED THE IDEA OF THIS BOOK BUT THE PUBLISHER SHE WAS WITH AT THE TIME DIDN’T PUBLISH PICTURE BOOKS. SHE KINDLY OFFERED TO LOOK AT IT AS I WROTE AND GIVE FEEDBACK AND HELP ME FIND A PUBLISHER. WITHIN A FAIRLY SHORT TIME, SHE LEFT HER JOB AND STARTED HER OWN COMPANY, CLOCKWISE PRESS. SHE CONTACTED ME AND ASKED IF I WANTED TO WRITE IT FOR HER. SO THAT’S HOW I FOUND MY EDITOR AND PUBLISHER. 🙂 I DO HAVE AN AGENT IN THE U.S. NOW, SO THE PROCESS FOR ANYTHING I WORK ON NOW IS MUCH DIFFERENT. I FOUND MY AGENT THE GOOD OLD FASHIONED WAY – I WAS ACTIVELY LOOKING FOR AN AGENT AND SUBMITTED TO A BUNCH. I GOT OFFERS FROM A COUPLE AND PICKED ONE I FELT I COULD WORK WITH BEST.

What a fortunate string of events!

Did you have to change this story much for it to be accepted as a children’s book?

NOT AT ALL. I HAD A GREAT EDITOR WHO WANTED IT TO BE AS IMPACTFUL AS POSSIBLE, AS DID I. WE DIDN’T WANT TO SUGAR COAT IT. WE WANTED IT TO BE AUTHENTIC AND I HOPE THAT’S WHAT WE DID. GRIEF ISN’T SOMETHING THAT JUST OLDER PEOPLE EXPERIENCE. CHILDREN EXPERIENCE IT TOO. AND FINDING THEIR OWN EXPERIENCES IN BOOKS IS IMPORTANT.
Missing Nimâmâ is a beautifully told story about a very sensitive issue here in Canada, and also in the United States. You have brought attention to a tragic situation on a level for children to understand. Please tell us, what honours has this book received thus far?
THANK YOU! WE WON THE TD CANADIAN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE AWARD AND IT’S SHORT LISTED FOR THE FOREST OF READING GOLDEN OAK AWARD. WE WERE A BEST BOOK FOR KIDS AND TEENS WITH THE CCBC. I KNOW THERE’S ANOTHER BUT I’M DRAWING A BLANK.
Okay, I went searching. It’s quite a list! The ones you didn’t mention are: 2017 Storytelling World Resource Awards winner, Stories for Adolescent Listeners category (if this isn’t the same as the best book for kids & teens with CCBC); 2017 Notable Books for a Global Society Award winner; 2016 OLA Best Bets Honourable Mention.
How do you consistently write? Do you have writing goals .. daily? weekly? monthly? long-range?
OH MAN. I HATE TO ADMIT IT BUT I’M WILDLY DISORGANIZED. I SHOULD HAVE A WRITING PLAN OR GOAL BUT I DON’T. I WORK GREAT UNDER DEADLINE BUT NOT AS WELL WITHOUT ONE. I THINK THAT WILL ACTUALLY BE MY GOAL. TO SET UP A CONSISTENT WRITING PLAN! I ALWAYS HAVE A TO DO LIST GOING. THAT HELPS.
To-do lists are great. What other interests do you have for a change from writing?
MOSTLY, I JUST HANG OUT WITH MY FAMILY AND DO MOM STUFF. I’M A BIG DOCTOR WHO FAN AND SO IS MY DAUGHTER, SO WE’RE WORKING THROUGH THE SERIES TOGETHER. MY SON LIKES IT ALSO BUT HE DECIDED TO WATCH FROM A DIFFERENT POINT.
Do you have other projects in the works? If so, can you give our readers any hints?
ALWAYS! I’VE GOT A NEW MIDDLE GRADE (HOPEFULLY FUNNY) NOVEL HALF-WRITTEN, A NON-FICTION MIDDLE GRADE OUT ON SUBMISSION WITH MY AGENT AND I’VE GOT A COUPLE OF OTHER IDEAS RUMINATING.
Thanks for sharing about your books to look for later. 🙂
Is being a writer/author all you had hoped or thought it would be?
ABSOLUTELY. I LOVE WHAT I DO!
It shows.
And finally, do you have any advice for hopefuls?
WRITE! SIT DOWN AND WRITE. EVEN IF YOU DON’T THINK IT’S ANY GOOD, KEEP WRITING. AND READ. READ AS MANY BOOKS IN THE SAME GENRE YOU WANT TO WRITE. AND OTHER GENRES. READ GREAT BOOKS. TAKE A WRITING CLASS. FIND OTHER WRITERS TO CRITIQUE YOUR WORK. JOIN CANSCAIP!

 

* CANSCAIP = Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators & Performers
Thank you, Melanie, for that excellent advice! This has been a fun and informative interview. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this in the midst of preparing for a book tour.
 

Now, as if all this has not been exciting enough, I am thrilled to be able to offer someone a copy of Melanie Florence‘s picture book! 

Readers, now it’s your turn. If you would like to have a chance to win a copy of “Missing Nimama” by Melanie Florence, please leave a comment about anything you found especially interesting or helpful in the above interview. Huge thanks to Melanie’s publisher, Clockwise Press, who has generously agreed to send one of you a copy of Missing Nimama – anywhere in Canada or continental USA.

You have until 6:00 PM EST on May 13 to enter the draw. Then one name will be selected using the “random name picker” tool. The next morning, Mother’s Day, May 14, I will post the winner’s name so check your email Saturday night because I will be contacting the winner for a mailing address.

 
Don’t delay, comment today! And please pass the news on to your friends, post on Twitter or however you communicate with the world.
Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: A Gift of Music: Emile Benoit & his Fiddle

 

 

 

 






Book: A Gift of Music: Émile Benoit & his Fiddle
Author: Alice Walsh
Illustrator: Geoff Butler
Publisher: Tuckamore Books
Date: May 1, 2010
Genre: non-fiction children's picture book; gr K-5; age 5-9
Pages: 32; paperback
Price: $12.95
My rating: an interesting story about a gifted musician

 

This is another picture book I purchased from one of the authors at the children’s book fair last year.

A Gift of Music: Émile Benoit & his Fiddle is a non-fiction story by Canadian author Alice Walsh about a young boy who grew up to be a well-known fiddler in Canada, the United States, and other countries.

Émile Benoit (March 24, 1913 – September 3, 1992) was born in Newfoundland and weighed only one pound, seven ounces at birth. Émile’s father sheared one of their sheep and his mother wrapped their tiny baby in the raw wool, placed him in a small box under the wood stove to try to save him, and fed him from a dropper. No one thought he would survive, but his mother’s loving care brought him through.

Émile loved music. He especially loved violin, and would practice on the small toy one his father made him that had thread for strings. (Notice the cover illustration above.) His father promised to make him a real violin when he was old enough to have one. When he was twelve, one day he came home from school and there it was! Émile had imagined this so often that he picked up the violin and – within minutes – began to play the tunes he had composed in his head! Friends and family came from all around to hear him play, amazed at his gift of music. In his lifetime he composed more than one hundred tunes.

Alice Walsh has written an interesting story of how, from an early age, Émile Benoit’s life was centered on music. The realistic illustrations by Geoff Butler capture the life and passion of Émile and people in his life. A Gift of Music: Émile Benoit & his Fiddle is an encouraging story for children – who have dreams of their own – to not give up on their talent and important life goals.

At the back of the book there is a page called Historical Note on which is information about Émile. There is also a music score of a tune called Émile’s Dream that he composed in his sleep!

You can find A Gift of Music: Émile Benoit & his Fiddle by Alice Walsh on my BUY THE BOOK page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Tadeo Turtle – by Janis Cox

tadeo-turtle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book: Tadeo Turtle
Author/Illustrator: Janis Cox
Publisher: Word Alive Press
Date: 2012
Genre: Children's picture book; ages 2-6
Pages: 24
Price: $12.25, paperback
My rating: A lovely book encouraging children to 
accept themselves

 

I won this book and agreed to write my honest review of it.

Tadeo Turtle by Janis Cox (Canadian author and retired school teacher) is an engaging story about a turtle not satisfied with how he was made.  He didn’t know the Scripture (quoted at the beginning of the book) from Psalm 139:13-14 that can be applied, in part, to his situation – “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it.” – New Living Translation

Tadeo (pronounced TAD-ay-OH) was a cheerful little painted turtle who loved to play. One day he met a squirrel who could run up trees, and Tadeo became sad because he couldn’t do that. Tadeo wished he didn’t have a shell that he thought was a hindrance to him.

One night he dreamed that he was free of his shell so that he could run and climb, too. Tadeo was happy about that until a cat spied him and thought he was a rat. Poor Tadeo. He tried to hide among the rocks, and then found one that smelled like home. It was his shell that looked like a rock! It was then that Tadeo realized how safe he was inside his shell, just as God intended.

This is a fun story in rhyme. The rhyme doesn’t quite make the cut in some places, but it’s not enough to throw the reader out of the story. Janis Cox illustrated her story beautifully. I especially like the face of the cat, and the colours Janis chose throughout the story are very pleasing to the eye.

Isn’t this beautiful? I’m showing this image by permission of Janis Cox, the author/illustrator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the back of the book, the author included an activities section with instructions for children on how to make a paper plate turtle, a dough turtle, a rock turtle, and a felt board with pieces to make a turtle, rocks, and water. The author has not left her teaching experience behind as this book is a great tool in a classroom.

Janis Cox also included a research page with links to how to learn more about different turtles, and other interesting information. Tadeo Turtle is a book children will enjoy.

You can find Tadeo Turtle by Janis Cox on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Chapters.Indigo, and Goodreads.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Without Proof – by Janet Sketchley

without-proof

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book: Without Proof: a Redemption's Edge novel
Author: Janet Sketchley
Publisher: Janet Sketchley
Genre: Christian suspense
Date: October 10, 2015
Pages: 308
Price: paperback, $12.99
My rating: a suspenseful story of hope

I won this book from the author and, very late, I’m posting my honest review.

Without Proof is book three of a trilogy by Canadian author Janet Sketchley. Even though it is the third in the series, the author gives enough information so that the first two books are not necessary for the reader to easily follow and enjoy the storyline. This novel can stand on its own. (I read and reviewed the first book, Heaven’s Prey, HERE, if you would like to check it out.) I haven’t read book two, Secrets and Lies, but would like to purchase it and find time to read it later.

In Without Proof a young woman, Amy, is recovering from serious injuries she suffered in a plane crash two years before. Her fiancé, Gilles, did not survive it, so she is left alone and grieving. Her fiancé’s Aunt Bay takes her in, and his best friend, Michael, helps out however he can. Michael also has an art business, so Amy helps manage it while struggling with her memories, physical pain, and emotions, including her growing feelings for Michael.

Janet Sketchley’s writing style is easy to read and enjoy. She pulls the reader right into the story, meaning that once into the story the reader doesn’t want to leave until the end. In this novel, there is suspense and enough going on to keep the reader interested in trying to figure out who is doing what to whom. Someone leads Amy to believe the plane was sabotaged, and in trying to find out the truth Amy places herself in danger. There are threats, break-ins, mysterious people, and enough drama to keep the pages turning in anticipation. And, of course, there are surprises – events that occur to keep up the level of suspense.

God is front and center in Aunt Bay’s life, and yet Amy isn’t sure how God fits in her own life or even if He does. Without Proof is written without profanity, is not preachy or “religious” – although there is a hopeful message – and is a story that leaves the reader satisfied. In the back of the book, there are even discussion questions that are great for a study group or a book club.

Without Proof was a finalist is the Word Awards (Suspense Category).

You can find Without Proof by Janet Sketchley on my BUY THE BOOK page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂