5 chocolates for Standing in the Whale’s Jaw!

libary2Thanks to Choco-Latte Reader for the 5 chocolate view of “Standing in the Whale’s Jaw:” Choco-Latte Reader says:

I loved this novel instantly from the first page. It was simply beautiful. There was a lot of vivid and breathtaking imagery, as well as an intriguing story line. Elsa is a fifteen year old girl who lives in a time where men dominate over men. Her mother, Rose, isn’t much help for her free spirit, and Elsa finds a confidant and friend in Lavinia; her mentor. When Elsa finds a wounded man, Simon, in her barn, she decides to keep him a secret despite the consequences. However, at the same time, a dead girl’s body is found in the river, and people are scrambling to find the killer.

I felt that this novel was one of self-exploration, for Elsa to find her place in society and life. All characters had a story to them, and I really connected with them all. Each and every character had a bit more of them revealed as the book went on, their life explained. I loved how Elsa matured through the story, and how she managed to find a place for herself, as a woman, in a male-dominated society.

I should have seen that plot twist in the end coming, but I didn’t. It was a nice surprise, and completely unexpected.

This novel was a joy to read, and was a smooth mix of self-discovery and mystery.

Happy summer reading!

Kathy-Diane

“Standing in the Whale’s Jaw is a swirling, twisting tale of intrigue. Two bright and daring young women weave through a cast of characters… to solve one great mystery and open their minds to a greater one. A thoroughly enjoyable read, it’s a rollicking ride with many surprises along the way.” -Linda Little Author of Scotch River

Arts East Review

art1Thanks to Arts East for reviewing my new novel “Standing in the Whale’s Jaw:”

Kathy-Diane Leveille makes rural New Brunswick, 1935, an enticing setting for a murder mystery.

Her second suspense novel, Standing in the Whale’s Jaw, centres around 15-year old Elsa Byrd, a strong girl wise beyond her years. Elsa and her mom have relocated from Saint John to her grandparents’ farm; her father Hal has been admitted to a tuberculosis sanatorium. As mother and daughter attempt to adapt to country life—coloured by what probably is a more palpable case of “women should know their place”—a body of a young girl is discovered, found dead inside a floating dory.

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Thanks too to Mind Care for holding their annual “Music is Freedom” event. This year they decided to include a lunch reading with authors. I was so pleased to be asked to take part last Friday.  They do so much to help erase the stigma associated with mental illness. So nice to see such a great turn out!

Kathy-Diane

 

“Picturing ordinary people in extraordinary situations, and recording their impressions with an intense clarity we associate more with black and white photos, Leveille is blessed with a flash of insight that lets the readers see far beyond the surface.” – The Chronicle Journal

 

 

 

 

Writing and Kurt Vonnegut

danceEvery winter I hold an artist E-Circle that follows one of Julia Cameron’s books (Artist Way). This year’s book is “Walking the World.” We exchange weekly e-mails on the chapter readings and spotlight our individual works-in-progress; mostly it helps to share writing struggles and triumphs. Thanks to all who joined up. Speaking of triumphs, congratulations to member, Elizabeth Copeland, whose novella won the Ken Klonsy novella contest and will be published by Quattro books in the fall of 2014. Wonderful news! And thanks too to Kathleen who shared this inspiring letter from Kurt Vonnegut below that she found on-line:

Dear Xavier High School, and Ms. Lockwood…:

I thank you for your friendly letters. You sure know how to cheer up a really old geezer (84) in his sunset years. I don’t make public appearances anymore because I now resemble nothing so much as an iguana.

What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music singing dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.

Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and give it to her. Dance home after school, and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you’re Count Dracula.

Here’s an assignment for tonight, and I hope Ms. Lockwood will flunk you if you don’t do it: Write a six line poem, about anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good as you possibly can. But don’t tell anybody what you’re doing. Don’t show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or parents or whatever, or Ms. Lockwood. OK?

Tear it up into teeny-weeny pieces, and discard them into widely separated trash receptacles. You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what’s inside you, and you have made your soul grow.

God bless you all!

Kurt Vonnegut

He’s a wise man!
Dancing home…
Kathy-Diane

Happy 2014!

aliceThanks to Hampton High School for inviting me to come and talk about my new book. I visited a few different classes and passed along my top 10 tips for writing a novel.  What a talented bunch of young people! I expect great things from these budding authors.   Many were dressed in their costumes for that night’s opening performance of Alice in Wonderland in the Hampton Community Theater.  Kudos on an excellent performance!

Congratulations also goes out to Hendrien in Saint John who won the $125.00 spa gift certificate in the draw at the book launch and signings preceding Christmas. Who couldn’t use some pampering after dealing with power outages, freezing rain, shoveling, shoveling and more shoveling?  Luckily, my family all arrived safely and we were together to celebrate the season via flashlight, wool sweaters and lots of board games. Reminded me of the many camping trips we’ve taken through the years minus the mosquitos.

Wishing you and yours all the best in 2014! May it be rich with opportunity and courage.

And now let us welcome the New Year—full of things that have never been. -Rilke

How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world. -Anne Frank

Kathy-Diane

World Vision Trauma Centers: Child Exploitation

spirit8I would to thank all my friends at Saint David’s United Church, fellow book lovers, book clubs and all the kind folk who attended the launch of “Standing in the Whale’s Jaw” and dropped into the store signings. Part of the proceeds from each copy sold is being donated to World Vision’s Recovery Centers for victims of child trafficking. I’m happy to report I was able to mail a cheque to them today for $1000.00.

The trauma centers do offer hope for children traumatized by the unspeakable emotional and physical abuse of the commercial sex trade. When they flee the vicious cycle of exploitation, the centers provide health care, counselling, life and job skills training and begin to help them heal and move onto better lives. World Vision also advocates for child rights and better child protection laws. This is key, I think, and, most important, they educate children and families targeted by traffickers.

At this time of year when I see so many happy healthy children, starry eyed and rosy cheeked, brimming with the excitement of the holidays, the knowledge that this horrible stuff exists in our world sickens me.  I hope this small donation moves us one step closer to a world where every child is safe and sheltered.

A big Thank you!

Kathy-Diane

Congrats to GoodReads Winners!

girl4 Congrats to the GoodReads winners of the draw for an autographed copy of my new novel “Standing in the Whale’s Jaw.”  Fifteen-year-old  Elsa Byrd is on the verge of becoming a woman in the summer of 1935. In a world run by men, it could be more of a curse  than a blessing. She stumbles upon a stranger hiding in the barn and decides not to tell a soul. When a dead girl is discovered floating in a dory, it quickly shifts from the kind of secret Elsa wants to hug close, to the kind she doesn’t dare let out. Her mentor,  Lavinia Twigg, joins the police investigation and Elsa is left teetering between risk and danger, silence and disclosure, trust and fear.

The winners are:

Heather C.

Ava W.

Alicia H.

Julianna P.

Mary H.

Adelynne C.

Amy J.

Lindsey E.

Helen W.

If you live in Canada you should receive it this week. UK and US residents may not find it in their mailboxes until next week. Hope you enjoy it! I just found out it’s landed on the bestseller list on the Saint John Telegraph Journal. Woohoo!

Kathy-Diane

“Standing in the Whale’s Jaw is a swirling, twisting tale of intrigue. Two bright and daring young women weave through a cast of characters… to solve one great mystery and open their minds to a greater one.  A rollicking ride with many surprises along the way.” -Linda Little author of Scotch River

 

 

Thanks to all: Launch, World Vision and Alice Munro

SAM_1851bI’d like to thank everyone who attended the launch of my new novel “Standing in the Whale’s Jaw” (Tightrope Books) and to all the organizers of the FogLit Book Festival.  It was so nice to look out during my reading and see all the familiar faces: fellow writers, retreat attendees, neighbors, friend’s from St. David’s United church, readers and books lovers who enjoy long lunches discussing what’s currently on the shelf.

Part of the proceeds from each book sold is going towards World Vision’s Trauma Recovery Centers for victims of child trafficking. The strength behind WV is that they are already on the ground and have established trust on SAM_1860a grass roots level in many communities. The shelters offer counselling, education and training in new skills.  They advocate for children’s rights and the implementation of child protection laws.  Thanks for your support! I will let everyone know what the tally is when I send in my first donation at year’s end.

I have a number of book signings coming up and if you are around, drop by and say hello:

1-3, Saturday October 12- Coles McAllister mall

SAM_185512-2pm, Saturday October 19 – Indigo Saint John

12-2, Friday October 25 – Westminster Books Fredericton

12-2pm, Saturday October 26 – Chapters Fredericton

12-2pm, Saturday November 2 – Chapters Moncton

SAM_187612-2, Friday Nov 8 – Coles Brunswick Square, Saint John

 You can enter a draw to win a gift certificate at Element 5 day spa. The draw will be November 15th.

Finally, wonderful news regarding one of my favorite Canadian authors: the legendary Alice Munro. She won the Nobel Prize for Literature!  In an industry where the novel dominates, she has remained one of the greatest living short story artists with the prizes and awards to prove it. She’s inspired many to tackle that SAM_1866 form, including me.  I never would have tackled “Roads Unravelling” without her inspirational prose to convey the powerful stories of ordinary people. I heard that she has said, being in her 80s, it’s time to set her writing aside. I hope that isn’t true. Congratulations to Alice Munro!  So very, very well deserved.

“Leveille has set her story in a bygone place and time so vividly evoked the reader is transported…” -Trudy Morgan-Cole, Author of  That Forgetful Shore

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