by Mary Winklebleck and Barbara Blanks
My mom, a talented writer and my mentor, wrote a young adult novel several years ago. She briefly tried to find an agent, then set the book aside. After I started writing, we collaborated on revisions, editing, and all that. We were thisclose to having it published when she died unexpectedly in June this year.
I finished the final editing...and the book is now published and in my hands. I couldn't and wouldn't let it die with her.
It's called Giant Steps, and is about two sisters--one 12, one 18, who lose their parents in a fire, and what happens to them afterward. While it's young adult, it's not fluff, and adults will find it very readable.
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Writer's Digest Judge says: "It deals with a tough subject. The relationship between the sisters, Barbara and Kyla was well written, as were the adult characters. We see Barbara's frustration with an older sister, and see the transition as thy learn to lean on each other after their parents die. I wanted to read more."
Birma Castle of Beaumont says:
"I want to thank you for publishing your book with your mother. I had about an hour before I was scheduled for a bone density test and I made the mistake of picking up your book to read a few pages. Almost two hours later I was still immersed in the fascinating story. I missed my appointment, but spent a delightful afternoon reading your wonderful book.
I think you could not have picked a better way to honor your mother than publishing this book."
Marilyn Stacy, a Dallas psychotherapist, family and marriage counselor, and Professor Emeritus of Richland College, says, "This book surprised me. It is not only a good read, it is one that everyone experiencing loss and grief could learn from. The main inhabitants of this story are young, but they have very grown-up problems to deal with. Barbara and her sister Kyla come alive through the attention to detail and humor that the author(s) use. I cared about them. And I think everyone who reads this book will care, too. Read it, give it to a friend, and if you have a young person in your life, make a gift of this delightful book."
LaVern Spencer McCarthy says: "I found it exceedingly well-written and I could not put it down when I started to read it. As for appeal, I think I related to the Pop Stories more, perhaps because they kind of parallel my own life experiences. "