Reading In Hartland

SAM_1855If you’re in Hartland next Wed, drop by to say hello. I’ll be reading from “Standing in the Whale’s Jaw” at the Dr. Walter Chestnut Public Library October 22nd at 10:30 a.m. Thanks to the book club for reading “Let the Shadows Fall Behind You.” Looking forward to our discussion!  I’m looking forward to the drive up and enjoying the spectacular fall colors.

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

 

 

Italy was fantastic!

SAM_1168Italy was wonderful!  Sorrento where we were based is a small town on the southern coast. Olive, orange, lemon, nut and fig groves terraced the hillsides. The brilliant lemons and oranges were hanging from the trees and the magnolias and roses were blooming. Locals were often wearing winter jackets (12-17 degrees) which we found amusing. We explored the southern coast and then took the local ferries, hydrofoil and trains to Capri, Naples, Rome, Florence and Venice. We were in Rome when the white smoke came out of the chimney and were 150 feet away from the balcony when Papa Francesco Primo came out on the balcony and received his blessing. We found it incredibly moving with people from all over the world chanting, praying and singing.

While the south of Italy was more family and community oriented, Naples was like Toronto with lots of laundry and noise, Rome was cosmopolitan with the Tiber River running through, Florence was rich with ancient art in all forms (music, sculpture, architecture, paintings) and Venice, as pictured,  was absolutely unique.

The food was incredible, the people friendly and the history amazing. I filled two journals with my scribbles.

The only drawback is that pizza will never taste the same!

Still it is good to be home and writing again. Working with Tightrope on the cover for “Standing in the Whale’s Jaw.” It’s off to the copy editor. Ciao!

Kathy-Diane

 

Words on flipped pages…

It’s been raining all week and what better way to spend it, but inventorying all the books I’ve collected over the years. There are lots of surprises found, rooting through the shelves, reconnecting with old friends, apologetically unearthing discarded half-read tomes. There’s a calling between the covers.  Words on flipped pages draw me like a magnet and refuse to let go.  The fresh cracked spines smell of wilting carnations, an abandoned celebration longing to be revived if only I’d sit and stay a while.  I carry one upstairs and slip it beneath my pillow to warm up, dreaming of Elizabeth Barrett Browning: 

THE LIBRARY IN THE GARRETT

Books, books, books!

I found the secret of the garret room

Piled high with cases in my father’s name;

Piled high, packed large–where, creeping in and out

Among the great fossils of my past

Like some small nimble mouse between the ribs

Of a mastadon, I nibbled here and there

At this or that box, pulling through the gap

In heats of terror, haste, victorious joy

The first book First. And how I felt it beat

Under my pillow in the morning’s dark

An hour before the sun would let me read

My books!

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Thanks to Susan’s Book Club!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to Susan’s Book Club in Maganetawan, Ontario for reading my novel LET THE SHADOWS FALL BEHIND YOU.    Susan informs me they had a sparked discussion over coffee regarding the three time lines.   The novel takes place in the  1970s.  After Brannagh’s lover, wildlife preservationist, Nikki Mirsky, disappears on a bird count in Northern Ontario she reluctantly returns to the east coast for a reunion of an all-girl childhood club.   The ‘present’ is interspersed with flashbacks of growing up in the 1950s, along with flashbacks of the previous summer during the bird count as the romance  developed between Nikki and Brannagh before he disappeared.   Some readers enjoy delving more deeply into the characters, while others  (usually those who want to find answers to plot questions’) don’t want to keep popping back into the past.   It’s so interesting to hear what one reader prefers and another doesn’t.   Being a fan of the TV series LOST, I do sometimes love the layers.  

Congratulations to Betty Soth who is the winner of the doorprize, a $25.00 gift certificate from Indigo/Coles/Chapters.  Thanks to all you readers for chosing my novel for your book club!  Have a great summer.  May it be filled with many wonderful, rivetting beach reads…

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

Thank you Jan’s Book Club!

I had a wonderful time this week dropping by Jan’s Book Club in Riverview to meet the lovely ladies who make up its reading members.  They chose my novel LET THE SHADOWS FALL BEHIND YOU as their selection this month and I thoroughly enjoyed sitting and chatting with them about the writing process, inspiration, plot, setting and characters.  They are a lively, curious, insightful bunch.  Best of all, I was treated to a piece of blueberry cheesecake, the recipe for which will be featured in the summer edition of my newsletter.

Jan’s Book Club is supporting Canadian authors by reading their books.  Thank you!  They offered some interesting reflections on the writings they’ve sampled so far; particularly that we can sometimes be a somber bunch.  It’s true.  I wonder if it has something to do with the harsh and wild, ever changing landscape we live in.   Art feeds life and life feeds art. 

I was also interested to learn that the lovely quilt draped over the back of  the couch had been sewn by Jan.  Very talented!  It is really a stunning piece of work;  a lovely piece of art.  Writing is much like quilting, piecing together bits of this and that with a vision of the whole in mind; but not knowing for certain how it will all turn out.  It is always extremely rewarding to talk to readers who receive the work and add their own perspective to it.

Congratulations to Eleanor who won the doorprize I brought, a $25.00 gift certificate for Chapters/Indigo/Coles and a bag of chocolates. Thanks for having me and happy reading.

“Leveille’s settings and characters—their hopes and fears, verbal and behavioural ticks, even their smells—are keenly observed and full of sensual presence.” – The Globe and Mail

East Branch BOOK CLUB reads SHADOWS

I’d like to thank the book club at the east branch Saint John Library for reading my novel LET THE SHADOWS FALL BEHIND YOU.  I dropped by to visit them and thoroughly enjoyed their lively conversation.  Emily, the chief librarian, made delicious sweet treats and I brought chocolate.  Much sugar, caffiene and laughter was had by all.  What a thoughtful bunch of bibliophiles!

I especially loved the woman  who piped up at the end of our talk and asked me to read the last 2 paragraphs on page 251 which she felt summed up the heart of the book.  I agree one hundred percent!  It’s humbling and thrilling as a writer, when a reader connects with the soul of a story:

The tragedy was that everyone in the family had a story to tell. Brannagh could see that now. The leaver and the left behind.  And each person’s version would probably leave the impression that the teller of the tale was neither all sinner nor all saint, but simply human, with the struggle that being so entailed.  But they were stories that sometimes hid a dark truth that she had no way of  knowing completely. Ever.  She could only guess, take a blind leap, then let go.

And it seemed to her that the echoes of a family’s feeble attempts at love were at the heart of the anguish passed down from one generation to the next, an invisible inheritence undetectable to the naked eye, but skewered through the soul; a legacy of mistakes, fears, mistrust, disappearances, vulnerability, sickness, calluses formed around hearts, all these miserly clutchings threaded through one huge lump that a person blindly inherited with no say in the matter, that the universe left them on thier own to sort out.

Thank you East Branch for reading my novel and inviting me to talk about the book.  Until next time…happy reading!

 

 

 

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