Happy Book Birthday to THE ARTISAN HEART!

9781771681421September marks the first of our fall releases and this month is being celebrated with The Artisan Heart by Dean Mayes.

This heartwarming and romantic story of second chances is set in the mountains of South Australia and features characters as real as they are endearing.

Dean and I met many years ago. I sought him out on social media to find out more about the romance novel he had written, The Hambledown Dream. When I read it, I knew I had to publish it and boy, did I ever. What I mean is, I made aDeanMayes ton of mistakes with it. It had everything from poor typesetting to typos. The reality was that it was the first book I had ever published in print and Dean was incredibly patient and kind as we navigated the new and scary and confusing process together. We’ve tried to fix as many of those irritating issues as we could, but I’m sure there’s some that persist even today. I take heart that even books published by bigger and better houses than mine often have mistakes.

Over the past eight and half years, we have grown together, and released now four books. I was so happy to have Dean return to romance which I think he writes rather

20180104_175646And one other fun tidbit — after the cover ideas had been discussed, it was Dean’s young daughter that suggested that a train could be included, since the town where the novel is set, Walhalla, is known for its train route. She even went so far as to draw up a cover for me! With her suggestion, I just knew we had to add the tracks to the cover.

But most importantly, readers seem to love the book — so far, it has a 4.2 rating on Goodreads! People have said their favourite characters is Genevieve, a hearing-impaired and precocious child who ends up helping the main characters find each other.

So, here’s to the first release of the fall season, to the fourth novel of Dean’s, and to many more years together!

MH Signature



Michelle Halket – Publisher, Central Avenue


Sneak Peek: Roam by C.H. Armstrong

9781771681513We’d like to show off the final book of our Fall 2018 season: Roam by C.H. Armstrong.

Seventeen year-old Abby Lunde and her family are living on the streets. They had a normal life back in Omaha but, thanks to her mother’s awful mistake, they had to leave what little they had behind for a new start in Rochester. Abby tries to be an average teenager—fitting into school, buoyed by dreams of a boyfriend, college and a career in music. But Minnesota winters are unforgiving, and so are many teenagers.

Her stepdad promises to put a roof over their heads, but times are tough for everyone and Abby is doing everything she can to keep her shameful secret from her new friends. The divide between rich and poor in high school is painfully obvious, and the stress of never knowing where they’re sleeping or where they’ll find their next meal is taking its toll on the whole family.

As secrets are exposed and the hope for a home fades, Abby knows she must trust those around her to help. But will her friends let her down the same way they did back home, or will they rise to the challenge to help them find a normal life?

We are very proud to release a book that both entertains and educates. We are also honoured by the response we’ve gotten to it more than six months before its release on February 5, 2019. It’s sitting neck-in-neck with Angie Thomas’ new book which comes out on the same date and the response from educators and librarians on NetGalley has been tremendous.

C.H. Armstrong writes issue-driven young adult and women’s fiction, and freelances part CHArmstrongtime as a magazine columnist. An assignment to cover the twenty-year anniversary of a local soup kitchen piqued her interest in the homeless community and inspired Roam.

Please feel free to check it out on Amazon (where we see it’s on for a great price) or to request/wish for it on NetGalley.

Happy Book Birthday: Five Hundred Poor

9781771681391June 1 marks the last book that Central Avenue will release this season and the first day of the rest of the life of Five Hundred Poor, a collection of short stories by critically acclaimed author, Noah Milligan.

Five Hundred Poor is named for Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, which says “…that for every one rich man, there must be five hundred poor…” Set in Oklahoma, these ten stories explore America’s poor, the disenfranchised and the disillusioned. It is a collection that will haunt you, make you laugh and make you think. Noah is a critically acclaimed NoahMilliganwriter whose work has appeared in countless literary journal and magazines. His first novel is An Elegant Theory and we’ll release his new novel, Into Captivity They Will Go, in Fall 2019. Central Avenue is incredibly proud to publish the work of such a talented writer and we know that you will love this timely and superb anthology.


Happy Book Birthday, HONEYBEE!

Featured Image -- 3388May 1, 2018 marks the official release day of Honeybee by Trista Mateer. When I first met Trista, we discussed many projects. But the main reason for taking on this previously self-published title was its structure. It’s this awesome epic poem/story-in-verse of early-life heartbreak that had me catching my breath. The next reason was that while some of the book addresses sexuality, particularly bisexuality and a young woman coming to terms with how she’s being treated because of it, the book still managed to resonate with me as a middle-aged, happily-married, heterosexual who’s well past her angst-ridden teens and twenties.

It’s because it is a story of love, loss, heartbreak and all the messy, awful things that happen and that we feel when we’re in love; no matter our identity. Trista has this innate ability to connect on a very real level with her readers and put into words what most of us have a hard time even understanding.

There’s amazing reviews popping up all over the internet, but we invite you to find out for yourself by reading it. It’s listed at so many stores, I can’t even keep track, but if the dollars aren’t handy right now, that’s okay because Trista shares a lot of her work on Instagram where she posts not only poems and work from this book, but from her many others, as well as her visual art.

Please help me congratulate Trista on an absolutely beautiful accomplishment by sending her a tweet or shouting out to her on Instagram.

— Michelle Halket, Publisher


Happy Book Birthday, IN THE SHADOW OF 10,000 HILLS!

Today is the official release day of Jennifer Haupt’s beautiful and captivating debut novel, In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills.

As a young person, I never cared much for the news, local or international. Perhaps I was too involved in my own middle-class North American issues to care too much about what else might be going on in the world around me. Or perhaps the news cut me more than I wanted it to.

When I heard about the genocide that was happening in Rwanda in the mid 1990’s, I couldn’t stop reading about it. I couldn’t believe that this was happening in this day and age. I mean, weren’t these type of things ancient relics of wars that just didn’t happen anymore? Hadn’t we learned that differences in race, religion and culture didn’t matter?

A few years later, I was working at a large firm and met a woman from Rwanda. My face dropped and she said to me in surprise, “You know?” I told her that of course I do, doesn’t everyone? She looked immensely sad, lowered her face and said, “No, they don’t.” I’ve carried her face and words with me since then: the world didn’t know (or care) about Rwanda.

Fast forward many years later, and Jennifer Haupt’s book crosses my desk. All I can think is, “Oh, I sure hope this book is good.”

Fast forward an afternoon later, after I’ve finished reading the entire thing in one go, and all I can think is, “Oh, I sure hope Jennifer elects to go with me instead of a big 5 publisher, because this book is so good.”

This is isn’t the kind of book that hits you over the head with the gore of what happened over twenty years ago when a million people perished. Sure, it’s a book about something the world needs to know. But it’s also a book about three women from vastly different cultures that find the ties that bind them in the most unlikely of circumstances. More than anything, it’s a book about finding family, love and grace when there can be no forgiveness.

Fast forward to now, when the world again seems to need a lesson in respecting each other. I humbly present it to you and hope that it resonates with you as much as it did with me.

Jennifer’s debut has been touted by The Seattle Times, Wally Lamb, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Caroline Leavitt, SIBA, and a slew of early readers. She’ll be appearing at multiple events over the next few months, and you can find out where she is at jenniferhaupt.com/events.

Sneak Peek: Lovely Seeds

9781771681483The third book of our upcoming fall season is one of poetry by R. H. Swaney:  Lovely Seeds. This book was originally self-published and we are very proud to introduce a new and expanded version to the trade and a wider audience this fall.

R. H. Swaney brings a depolarizing voice to the poetry world with his debut collection of poetry. Among the topics of mental health, self-love, and social progress, you’ll find a soft, but powerful voice that reminds us of the beauty that exists inside all of us. The thought-provoking nature of this collection will bring you to a place of self-exploration, reflection and an understanding of the world and those around us.

Lovely Seeds will be released on November 1, 2018. Please join me in celebrating his debut by tweeting or following him on Instagram.

Sneak Peek: The Artisan Heart

9781771681421Today I’d like to introduce you to the fourth book by Dean Mayes, The Artisan Heart. Featuring a strong female lead, this novel captures the essence of small town romance and  beautifully portrays a second chance at love; all snuggled in the valley of a picturesque Australian mountain village.

Hayden Luschcombe is a brilliant paediatrician living in Adelaide with his wife Bernadette, an ambitious event planner. His life consists of soul-wrenching days at the hospital and tedious evenings attending the lavish parties organised by Bernadette.

When an act of betrayal coincides with a traumatic confrontation, Hayden flees Adelaide, his life in ruins. His destination is Walhalla, nestled in Australia’s southern mountains, where he finds his childhood home falling apart. With nothing to return to, he stays, and begins to pick up the pieces of his life by fixing up the house his parents left behind.

A chance encounter with a precocious and deaf young girl introduces Hayden to Isabelle Sampi, a struggling artisan baker. While single-handedly raising her daughter, Genevieve, and trying to resurrect a bakery, Isabelle has no time for matters of the heart. Yet the presence of the handsome doctor challenges her resolve. Likewise, Hayden, protective of his own fractured heart, finds something in Isabelle that awakens dormant feelings of his own.

As their attraction grows, and the past threatens their chance at happiness, both Hayden and Isabelle will have to confront long-buried truths if they are ever to embrace a future.

The Artisan Heart will be released on September 1, 2018. Please join me in celebrating this new novel with some tweet love to Dean.