Excerpt from The Language of Sparrows

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, read the rules at A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along!

Cynthia has a Secret is currently free at the Kindle store, but only for a limited time. Download by Canada Day (July 1)! Share with your friends!

I just finished reading a great book. Beautiful, insightful, well-written. This is an inspirational book with a teenage protagonist, but I’m not sure I would classify it as YA fiction. It is more often told from the mother’s perspective.

God is not afraid of pain. He does not try to keep us from it. He does not avoid it for Himself. So I suppose we should not fear it either.

Rachel Phifer, The Language of Sparrows

twitter sparrows

Brilliant and fluent in too many languages to count, 15-year-old Sierra Wright can’t seem to communicate what is important to her in any language. Though April Wright stubbornly keeps an upbeat attitude about her daughter’s future, she has let her own dreams slip away. Just across the bridge lives old Luca, scarred from his time in a Romanian gulag years before. Though he has seemingly given up on people, Sierra is drawn to him despite his prickly edges.

No one else is comfortable with the unpredictable old man spending time alone with Sierra, not even Luca’s son. Yet it is this unconventional relationship that will bring two families together to form friendships and unearth their family stories, stories that just might give them all the courage to soar on wings toward a new future.

Happy Birthday to You! (It’s a freebie!)

Once again, it is that time of year! My birthday and Canada’s birthday roll around, and I offer you a present! How cool is that?

This weekend, Cynthia has a Secret is available for free on Kindle. But the offer expires on Canada Day (July 1), so don’t wait around.

Several sources say this is my best published book so far, so what are you waiting for?

Download here! Feel free to post/share with your social networks.

cynthia-mockup1One day, fifteen-year-old Carmina Knight’s life was perfect, and the next, she’d lost everything. Her family, her home, almost everything that she knew. Alone on the streets, she can’t trust anyone, but she also can’t make it alone.

Neil Crowther is the investigator on the Knight case. He knows that he has to unravel the web of deceit and track Carmina down quickly, or there will be no one left to save.

–Cynthia has a Secret hooked me at the beginning and kept me interested right to the last page. Filled with intriguing characters you won’t soon forget.

–New favorite!

–PD Workman weaves a fascinating tale… Alone and scared, Carmina would rather take to the streets than trust the police her father has warned her against. This is a page-turning novel that will leave you anxious to find out how it all ends.

Excerpt from Jodi Picoult’s Leaving Time

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, read the rules at A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along!

One of my readers told me that my writing reminds her of Jodi Picoult. And I’m embarrassed to say I have read very little of Jodi Picoult. So when Leaving Time showed up on my Overdrive feed, I snatched it up. This is her most recent work, with rave reviews. So far, I am greatly enjoying this gentle mystery/suspense.

“Or maybe the reason I have this random memory is as a trade-off my brain made—because I can’t remember what I desperately wish I could: details of the night my mother disappeared.”

Jodi Picoult, Leaving Time

twittertime

Alice Metcalf was a devoted mother, loving wife and accomplished scientist who studied grief among elephants. Yet it’s been a decade since she disappeared under mysterious circumstances, leaving behind her small daughter, husband, and the animals to which she devoted her life. All signs point to abandonment. . .or worse. Still Jenna–now 13 years old and truly orphaned by a father maddened by grief–steadfastly refuses to believe in her mother’s desertion. So she decides to approach the 2 people who might still be able to help her find Alice: a disgraced psychic named Serenity Jones, and Virgil Stanhope, the cynical detective who first investigated her mother’s disappearance and the strange, possibly linked death of 1 of her mother’s co-workers. Together these 3 lonely souls will discover truths destined to forever change their lives. Deeply moving and suspenseful, Jodi Picoult’s first novel with Random House Canada is a radiant exploration of the enduring love between mothers and daughters.

Reading list: Young Adult Fiction about Depression

I previously published a Reading List for Young Adult Fiction About Psychosis. Today I am going to tackle depression.

I encountered a challenge in preparing this list, and that is that they are depressing! I attempted to pick books that were not so depressing that they would trigger the reader, but it was not an easy task. I have not read a lot of these books so I had to gauge how depressing each was by the cover and description, and to try to pick those with redeeming qualities.

As before, I have started with my own books that feature main characters who have depression or whose caregivers have depression. There are duplicates from the psychosis list, since characters may have both psychosis and depression/bipolar, or there may be separate characters with psychosis and depression/bipolar.

I’m interested in hearing your comments! What books would you add to the list? What do you like? What did you not like?

My books that include main characters with depression (or bipolar) are:

3D-MOCKUP-1Looking Over Your Shoulder

Just because you’re paranoid, that doesn’t mean someone isn’t out to get you.

Things were going well for Abe.  Despite all of his past struggles with mental illness, he was happily married, had three wonderful children, a nice home, and a fantastic consulting business that satisfied his creativity and brought in a good income.

But you can never get too comfortable.  When Abe becomes a prime suspect in a jewel heist – one of the largest successful jewel heists in history – his schizophrenia becomes unmanageable and everything begins to spiral out of control.  Abe’s own investigation into the heist has the jewel thieves hot on his tail… but are they really, or is he just losing the battle against his inner demons?

dev-mockup1-newDeviation, Breaking the Pattern #1

“You’re a good kid, Henry.”

Everyone knew that he was a good guy; geeky, responsible, hard-working.  Henry has had a lot to deal with in the past.  Now, as he should be focusing on his schooling and preparing himself for the future, he is hindered by abuse, the challenge of raising his baby brother while dealing with his mother’s deep depressions, and the return of a ghost from the past Henry has tried his best to forget.

But it seems that Henry can’t avoid the nastiness of life.  As hard as he tries, it’s one more disaster after another as his life spirals out of control.

Can Henry escape the darkness, or is he doomed to be consumed by it?

rp_ruby-3d-mockup-217x300.pngRuby, Between the Cracks

If you asked Ruby, she’d tell you she’s happy with her life.  She’s tough and independent and doesn’t depend on anyone else.  The road that has led her here has not been easy, and she’s blocked a lot of it from her memory.

But things aren’t as rosy as she would have everyone believe, and the road ahead of her is filled not only with gangs, drugs, and depression, but other challenges that Ruby hasn’t even imagined.

 

mock-up-1Don’t Forget Steven

He never told what went on behind closed doors. But this time, he can’t remember.

Things never have been easy for Steven. He accepts that, and just makes the best of things. He might not have parents or a happy home. Or enough to eat most days. But at least he has a couple of loyal friends who stand by him and help out when they can. At least he has school, someplace he can go to escape the abuse.

But just when he thought things couldn’t get much worse, they did.

Steven is accused of murder. But that isn’t the worst part. The really bad part is not even knowing if he did it.

bypass-3d-mock-up-newBy-Pass, Breaking the Pattern #3

It’s better when she’s happy.

Bobby is a geeky teen who is convinced that his new foster home is everything he has ever hoped for.

His foster mom Katya is so different than any he has ever had; but as her behavior becomes more and more unpredictable and disturbing, he comes to realize that both he and Katya’s daughter Zane are in trouble.

The crazy thing is, Bobby doesn’t want to leave her, and new revelations from Bobby’s own forgotten past throw his quest for a real family into further turmoil.

mockup-1June & Justin, Between the Cracks #2

Justin had made a mistake. A big, life-changing mistake.

He already failed June once. He wasn’t there when she needed him, and because of him, their lives will never be the same. June is everything to Justin, and he must be everything to her. He must protect June at all costs. Justin is prepared spend the rest of his life keeping her from getting hurt again.

But it seems they are always falling behind, barely keeping one step ahead of the nightmares.

There is always one more hazard, just around the corner.

cynthia-mockup1Cynthia has a Secret

One day, fifteen-year-old Carmina Knight’s life was perfect, and the next, she’d lost everything. Her family, her home, almost everything that she knew. Alone on the streets, she can’t trust anyone, but she also can’t make it alone.

Neil Crowther is the investigator on the Knight case. He knows that he has to unravel the web of deceit and track Carmina down quickly, or there will be no one left to save.

 

The other books that I have picked out are:

this songThis Song Will Save Your Life

Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.
Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, Leila Sales’ THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.

holdstill]Hold Still

In the wake of her best friend Ingrid’s suicide, Caitlin is left alone, struggling to find hope and answers. When she finds the journal Ingrid left behind for her, she begins a journey of understanding and broadening her horizons that leads her to new friendships and first love. Nina LaCour brings the changing seasons of Caitlin’s first year without Ingrid to life with emotion, honesty, and captivating writing.

 

 

funnystoryIt’s Kind of a Funny Story

Like many ambitious New York City teenagers, Craig Gilner sees entry into Manhattan’s Executive Pre-Professional High School as the ticket to his future. Determined to succeed at life-which means getting into the right high school to get into the right college to get the right job-Craig studies night and day to ace the entrance exam, and does. That’s when things start to get crazy. At his new school, Craig realizes that he isn’t brilliant compared to the other kids; he’s just average, and maybe not even that. He soon sees his once-perfect future crumbling away.

 

thirteenThirteen Reasons Why

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.

Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.

I have to add another after reading this inspiring read:

sparrowsThe Language of Sparrows

Brilliant and fluent in too many languages to count, 15-year-old Sierra Wright can’t seem to communicate what is important to her in any language. Though April Wright stubbornly keeps an upbeat attitude about her daughter’s future, she has let her own dreams slip away. Just across the bridge lives old Luca, scarred from his time in a Romanian gulag years before. Though he has seemingly given up on people, Sierra is drawn to him despite his prickly edges.

No one else is comfortable with the unpredictable old man spending time alone with Sierra, not even Luca’s son. Yet it is this unconventional relationship that will bring two families together to form friendships and unearth their family stories, stories that just might give them all the courage to soar on wings toward a new future.

New Release! Cynthia has a Secret

Finally! Cynthia has been stuck in Amazon limbo for over a week, but is finally up!

Cynthia has a Secret is now up at Amazon, in both Kindle and Paperback. A few of you have managed to snag a copy even before my official announcement. I included a teaser for Cynthia in my TeaserTuesday post last week. I challenge you to figure out Cynthia’s secret before the reveal!

Two of my beta readers, who have read most or all of my published works so far, both declared this their new favorite. I love the characters, and the typesetting in the paperback version is beautiful.

cynthia-mockup1

One day, fifteen-year-old Carmina Knight’s life was perfect, and the next, she’d lost everything. Her family, her home, almost everything that she knew. Alone on the streets, she can’t trust anyone, but she also can’t make it alone.

Neil Crowther is the investigator on the Knight case. He knows that he has to unravel the web of deceit and track Carmina down quickly, or there will be no one left to save.

 

—Cynthia has a Secret hooked me at the beginning and kept me interested right to the last page. Filled with intriguing characters you won’t soon forget.

—PD Workman weaves a fascinating tale… Alone and scared, Carmina would rather take to the streets than trust the police her father has warned her against.  This is a page-turning novel that will leave you anxious to find out how it all ends.

Excerpt from The End of Eternity

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, read the rules at A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along!

I am currently embroiled in Isaac Asimov’s The End of Eternity. Do I have to say it’s science fiction? This is a time travel tale that will challenge many of your ideas of time travel and paradoxes.

“If some lives were shortened, more were lengthened and made happier. A great work of literature, a monument of Man’s intellect and feeling, was never written in the new Reality, but several copies were preserved in Eternity’s libraries, were they not? And new creative works had come into existence, had they not?”

Isaac Asimov, The End of Eternity

twittereternity

 

Ackk! Amazon’s description included a spoiler! Now I’m ticked off!

Here is the portion of Amazon’s description which is not a spoiler. Don’t read the rest of Amazon’s description before reading the book!

Andrew Harlan is an Eternal, a member of the elite of the future. One of the few who live in Eternity, a location outside of place and time, Harlan’s job is to create carefully controlled and enacted Reality Changes. These Changes are small, exactingly calculated shifts in the course of history, made for the benefit of humankind. Though each Change has been made for the greater good, there are also always costs.

 

Teaser Tuesday Double-Header

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, read the rules at A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along!

I’m going to give you a double-header today, so keep scrolling down after the first tease!

I have just selected my next read, but haven’t yet begun reading it. So I will tease the first line! I am about to read 3 Sleuths, 2 Dogs, 1 Murder by Maggie Pill.

It’s hard to say which is worse: hearing that your gentleman friend has been arrested for murder, or learning that the victim was his wife.

Maggie Pill, 3 Sleuths, 2 Dogs, 1 Murder

dogstwitter

I am expecting to release Cynthia Has a Secret this week, so I thought I would throw in an extra teaser for you!

“You have Cynthia with you,” she murmured. That’s what Esther would have told her. “Even if Mom and Dad aren’t here, you’re not alone as long as Cynthia is here. You don’t have to be alone.”

P.D. Workman, Cynthia has a Secret

cynthia-mockup1One day, fifteen-year-old Carmina Knight’s life was perfect, and the next, she’d lost everything. Her family, her home, almost everything that she knew. Alone on the streets, she can’t trust anyone, but she also can’t make it alone.

Neil Crowther is the investigator on the Knight case. He knows that he has to unravel the web of deceit and track Carmina down quickly, or there will be no one left to save.

 

–Cynthia has a Secret hooked me at the beginning and kept me interested right to the last page. Filled with intriguing characters you won’t soon forget.

–New favorite!

–PD Workman weaves a fascinating tale… Alone and scared, Carmina would rather take to the streets than trust the police her father has warned her against.  This is a page-turning novel that will leave you anxious to find out how it all ends.

 

Ruby Featured by Pivot TV Secret Lives of Americans Wattpad List

A documentary series, “Secret Lives of Americans”, is premiering next Friday:

We all have secrets.  But at a certain point, they become too big to keep. Secret Lives of Americans is a fascinating, new documentary series that takes a look at the secrets we all keep, and the strength it takes to reveal them to our friends and family. Eating disorders, food security, HIV/AIDS, and debt are just a few of issues in the U.S. that push many to secrecy and isolation.  For these ten courageous Americans, though, now is the time to finally come clean.  In a groundbreaking storytelling format, each person will self-document their journey – with handheld cameras, phones, and laptops –  as they reveal their secret to their friends, their family, and to you.
22435754-256-k327269Pivot has set up a Wattpad account with two reading lists, one with Stories about Secrets and the other about Personal Transformations. Ruby, Between the Cracks has been featured on the Personal Transformations list!

Excerpt from Stone of Fire

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, read the rules at A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along!

If you’re an indie writer, you’ve probably heard of Joanna Penn! I recently picked up Stone of Fire, a republication of Pentacost. I’m not far into this thriller yet, but there is plenty of action! It’s a dense read, but keeps things moving forward.

“It doesn’t matter who we are or why we want it,” the voice replied. “But if we have to come in to get it, then I can’t guarantee your safety.”

J.F. Penn, Stone of Fire
stonetwitter

India. When a nun is burned alive on the sacred ghats of Varanasi, and the stone she carried is stolen, an international hunt is triggered for the relics of the early church.

Forged in the fire and blood of martyrs, the Pentecost stones have been handed down through generations of Keepers who kept their power and locations secret.

Until now.

The Keepers are being murdered, the stones stolen by those who would use them for evil in a world transformed by religious fundamentalism.

Oxford University psychologist Morgan Sierra is forced into the search when her sister and niece are held hostage. She is helped by Jake Timber from the mysterious ARKANE, a British government agency specializing in paranormal and religious experience. Morgan must risk her own life to save her family, but will she ultimately be betrayed?

From ancient Christian sites in Spain, Italy and Israel to the far reaches of Iran and Tunisia, Morgan and Jake must track down the stones through the myths of the early church in a race against time before a new Pentecost is summoned, this time powered by the fires of evil.

Reading list: Young Adult Fiction about Psychosis

I had the brilliant idea recently that I should write up some lists of books that are similar in genre and subject matter as my own. As you know from my tagline, I mainly write suspense and young adult fiction about mental illness, addiction, and abuse.

There are a lot of different forms of mental illness, so I decided to start with a list of books with a main character (and/or caregiver) with some form of psychosis—basically, someone who loses touch with reality.

I’m interested in hearing your comments! What books would you add to the list? What do you like? What did you not like?

My books that include main characters who may have psychosis are:

3D-MOCKUP-1Looking Over Your Shoulder

Just because you’re paranoid, that doesn’t mean someone isn’t out to get you.

Things were going well for Abe.  Despite all of his past struggles with mental illness, he was happily married, had three wonderful children, a nice home, and a fantastic consulting business that satisfied his creativity and brought in a good income.

But you can never get too comfortable.  When Abe becomes a prime suspect in a jewel heist – one of the largest successful jewel heists in history – his schizophrenia becomes unmanageable and everything begins to spiral out of control.  Abe’s own investigation into the heist has the jewel thieves hot on his tail… but are they really, or is he just losing the battle against his inner demons?

dev-mockup1-newDeviation

“You’re a good kid, Henry.”

Everyone knew that he was a good guy; geeky, responsible, hard-working.  Henry has had a lot to deal with in the past.  Now, as he should be focusing on his schooling and preparing himself for the future, he is hindered by abuse, the challenge of raising his baby brother while dealing with his mother’s deep depressions, and the return of a ghost from the past Henry has tried his best to forget.

But it seems that Henry can’t avoid the nastiness of life.  As hard as he tries, it’s one more disaster after another as his life spirals out of control.

Can Henry escape the darkness, or is he doomed to be consumed by it?

3d-mockup-1Stand Alone (also available in Spanish)

Is Justine crazy?

Everyone thinks so…

Her mother. The kids at school, and the teachers and administrators too. Even the police who pick her up from her night rambles. Maybe them most of all.

Justine’s therapist says she is ‘troubled’, but it means the same thing. He thinks that her vivid, reoccurring nightmares and atrocious behavior point to some trauma in her past; but Em, Justine’s mother, can’t explain it.

Justine used to have Christian, her best friend and skateboard partner. He was the only one who accepted her. Maybe because skating is the only time that Justine is really free to be herself. Now that Christian is gone… Justine keeps thinking things can’t get any worse.

Even as she sees her life spinning further and further out of control, Justine can’t give up her sense of who she is—someone far different than the loving daughter Em expects her to be—to just fit in and be happy. She is sure that Em secretly holds the key to who Justine really is. But if she does, Em isn’t talking.

bypass-3d-mock-up-newBy-Pass

It’s better when she’s happy.

Bobby is a geeky teen who is convinced that his new foster home is everything he has ever hoped for.

His foster mom Katya is so different than any he has ever had; but as her behavior becomes more and more unpredictable and disturbing, he comes to realize that both he and Katya’s daughter Zane are in trouble.

The crazy thing is, Bobby doesn’t want to leave her, and new revelations from Bobby’s own forgotten past throw his quest for a real family into further turmoil.

believe-mock-up-6Those Who Believe

These signs shall follow those who believe…

On the run from Social Services and others who do not understand their beliefs, Nathan and his mom, faith-healer Billie Ashbury move into yet another a new town.

Nathan again faces the challenges of making new friends and of keeping his family’s secrets. But what he really struggles with is his wavering faith and reconciling his actions with what his devoted mother has taught him from the cradle. Could disobeying her ever be right? His life could depend on the answer.

The other books that I have picked out are:

rosegardenI Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg

Enveloped in the dark inner kingdom of her schizophrenia, sixteen-year-old Deborah is haunted by private tormentors that isolate her from the outside world. With the reluctant and fearful consent of her parents, she enters a mental hospital where she will spend the next three years battling to regain her sanity with the help of a gifted psychiatrist. As Deborah struggles toward the possibility of the “normal” life she and her family hope for, the reader is inexorably drawn into her private suffering and deep determination to confront her demons.

 

belljarThe Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar chronicles the crack-up of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under — maybe for the last time. Sylvia Plath masterfully draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that Esther’s insanity becomes completely real and even rational, as probable and accessible an experience as going to the movies. Such deep penetration into the dark and harrowing corners of the psyche is an extraordinary accomplishment and has made The Bell Jar a haunting American classic.

 

straightjacketStraight Jacket by Meredith Towbin

Eighteen-year-old Anna has lived her whole life in shame, losing herself in books to cope with crippling panic attacks triggered by her abusive parents. Forced into a psychiatric hospital, she can’t imagine a future that’s anything but bleak—until she meets Caleb, a gifted, 19-year-old artist who insists he’s an angel.

He swears his mission is to help Anna break free from her parents’ control and fulfill a destiny she can only dream of. The doctors, however, are convinced that Caleb is delusional.

Anna doesn’t want to be that girl who’s in love with the guy “with issues,” but when she sees his stunning portraits of her and the way he risks everything to keep her safe, she can’t help but imagine a new future for the two of them, filled with hope. Then just as it seems they’ve created heaven on earth, Caleb’s past emerges full force, threatening to destroy their tiny, blissful world. And Anna has to decide if she should follow her heart, or if Caleb’s really as troubled as his doctors say…

wallflowerThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Perks follows observant “wallflower” Charlie as he charts a course through the strange world between adolescence and adulthood. First dates, family drama, and new friends. Sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Devastating loss, young love, and life on the fringes. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie must learn to navigate those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

 

figFig by Sarah Elizabeth Schantz

Fig’s world lies somewhere between reality and fantasy.

But as she watches Mama slowly come undone, it becomes hard to tell what is real and what is not, what is fun and what is frightening. To save Mama, Fig begins a fierce battle to bring her back. She knows that her daily sacrifices, like not touching metal one day or avoiding water the next, are the only way to cure Mama.

The problem is that in the process of a daily sacrifice, Fig begins to lose herself as well, increasingly isolating herself from her classmates and engaging in self-destructive behavior that only further sets her apart.

Spanning the course of Fig’s childhood from age six to nineteen, this deeply provocative novel is more than a portrait of a mother, a daughter, and the struggle that comes with all-consuming love. It is an acutely honest and often painful portrayal of life with mental illness and the lengths to which a young woman must go to handle the ordeals—real or imaginary—thrown her way.

alienThe Only Alien on the Planet by Kristen D. Randle (I am a huge fan of Randle!)

New town, new school, new friends. It was difficult for Ginny at first, but her senior year is finally starting to feel kind of normal. That is, until she sees him—the beautiful mystery in her English class. He has never spoken a word to anyone. He moves through each day at school without making eye contact. His name is Smitty Tibbs, but everyone calls him the Alien.

Ginny is convinced there’s more to the Alien than his muted exterior. But as she attempts to break into his safe and emotionless world, she realizes her efforts might be causing more harm than good. Has she gone too far, or not far enough?

challengerChallenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

Caden Bosch is on a ship that’s headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench.
Caden Bosch is a brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behavior.
Caden Bosch is designated the ship’s artist in residence to document the journey with images.
Caden Bosch pretends to join the school track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head.
Caden Bosch is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny.
Caden Bosch is torn.