My YA Novels


is a second story surrounding the character Kara Jagger, completed in December, 2011. It is unpublished.

In a 2012 contest with Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, one of my prizes for finishing among the top five percent of finalists in the young adult category was to receive this Publisher's Weekly review:

ABNA Publishers Weekly Review:
An ex-girlfriend wants her boyfriend back after a year abroad, but he’s cozied up with someone else in this boarding school love triangle that is sure to please... Senior Kara’s back at Trinity, a New Mexico boarding school, after a year exchange program in Australia. Ex-boyfriend Ryan has moved on and is hot-and-heavy with his new girlfriend, Christy. Even though she suggested they see other people while she was away, Kara is unsettled being alone at school and orchestrates a plan to get Ryan back. But mean-girl Christy will do everything she can to prevent that from happening. This well-paced story is strong on analyzing Kara’s mixed emotions: she doesn’t want Ryan, then she does, or perhaps it’s a case of “reverse culture shock.” Meanwhile, she’s got lingering feelings for her Australian boyfriend, Ben, and she’s not getting much help from her best friends, who are distant and have their own problems... And even though Ben’s appearance in the story is sparse considering how much Kara was affected by that relationship, it is an overall a satisfying read with girl-fights and some age-appropriate passionate moments.*

* Publishers Weekly is an independent organization and the review was written based on a manuscript version of the book and not a published version.


Van Diemen at 17

is my debut novel published by Smoke Signal Press.

What it's About

American seventeen-year-old Kara Jagger had the best intentions for a year-long high school exchange in the land of "Aus." She didn’t think she’d be as unhappy and lonely as she finds herself a couple of months into the experience. She’s battling culture shock and the onset of a secret eating disorder, and is upset mostly with herself for not trying harder to fit in.

Kara’s exchange program assigns a counselor, Ben, to help her get back on track, but her emotions and problems only become more complicated as their romantic attraction ignites. Ben provides motivation and encouragement to overcome her self-destructive behavior, but helping Kara with such conflict of interest risks his own reputation, and triggers unforeseen consequences for them both.

Set in mid-eighties Australia, and somewhere in between Anna and the French Kiss and You Deserve Nothing, Van Diemen at 17 is a novel about dealing with the unexpected, moving forward, and bittersweet love.

WINNER: 2010 MoonBEAM Children's BOOK AWARDS
Category:Young Adult, MATure ISSUES

GOLD Moonbeam Childrens Book Awards

For reviews, click here.

Check out the Van Diemen at 17 book trailer on YouTube:

This is an updated video (November 2011) with a new soundtrack.

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