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, The Goblins of Bellwater!

goblinOn October 1st, I can officially and proudly welcome The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle into the world. This cross-category novel, based on Christina Rossetti’s sensual poem, Goblin Market, is set in the majestic Pacific Northwest about four young adults who have the misfortune of encountering a local tribe of goblins has been one of the most anticipated releases we’ve had to date. There’s been so many wins:

We are truly honoured and pleased about these initial successes. Of course, not everyone has loved the book; in fact, we’d gotten so many bad early reviews of the book, that not all that long ago, we were starting to doubt what we had created. It seems that some early reviewers didn’t care for the romance, or the fact that the protagonists were older adults but could appeal to a slightly younger audience, or that there wasn’t enough fantasy; or that readers felt cat-fished by what they described as a beautiful cover. Honestly there were so many complaints. Early on, we did listen to a few of these issues, and changed small things based on the helpful suggestions from these reviewers.  In the end, we released a book that we felt good about while staying true to the original story. This whole pre-release has felt like riding a roller coaster, full of ups and downs from minute to minute. Throughout this process, we kept our sanity by deciding that this meme accurately summed up how we felt:


So, like it or love it, The Goblins of Bellwater is finally here, (but we truly do hope you GoblinsGrandPrizelove it though). To celebrate the release, we are giving away some really fun prizes, enter to win here!

Guest Post: Molly Ringle, Author of ‘The Goblins of Bellwater

We’ve had the honour of having Molly Ringle and The Goblins of Bellwater featured on many bloggers’ sites and it’s my pleasure to share this one with you.

Happy Friday!

Her Good Reads

Molly Ringle, Photo Credit: Central Avenue Publishing

Dear fellow Babblers,

As several of you well know by now I am a Young Adult Fantasy Fangirl (wow, talk about a mouthful, huh!?). I recently had the opportunity to read and review an ARC copy of The Goblins of Bellwater (full review here). With a rating of a 4.5 stars I was left wanting more from this author. I was curious how Ringle fused fantasy with realism so fluidly in her novel. What amazed me about this read was not the plot and dialogue, both of which were wonderful in there own right, but not what I’m getting at. The dramatically vivid illustration of the fantasy world where goblins lurk and control the human conscious, and conversely, the human world where everyday young adults fall in love and siblings look after one another, is really what caught me reading this book…

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On Being a Small Press Author – Lisette Brodey

Running a small press is just like running a business with a group of employees – well almost. I don’t actually get to see them every day and we can’t gather around the water cooler to chat. Since we all see each other only virtually, I thought it might be nice to ‘introduce’ our authors to both each other and their readers via a series of short interviews. These interviews will run twice a week until December – it’s a neat way of finding out how similar authors can be, and yet so different.


Today, we’re talking with Lisette Brodey, one of the first women I spoke with when I was first getting started. She has written several books and we distribute them for her. Her books are Crooked Moon; Squalor, New Mexico; and, Molly Hacker is Too Picky! I met Lisette on line and asked her if she’d be interested in coming on board as a partner. I liked her professional online presence and of course, her writing. She’s an active writer and I love how she maintains her online friends and colleagues. I also appreciate how she’s trusted us with her ‘babies’ and in working with her, I always know I have an ally.

1. The first book I can remember reading is: The first books I remember being read TO me are poetry books: A Child’s Garden of Verses and Told Under the Blue Umbrella. It would be fascinating to know the first book I read, but I have no idea.

2. The first book I ever wrote was: Squalor, New Mexico.

3. An “average” day in my life goes like this: The first thing I do is check my email, make quick social media rounds, then decide what I’m going to work on that day. I usually battle through a great number of distractions, take time out to walk, and if the day goes well, I’ll end up having accomplished something I can feel good about. While I love having a day where I’ve written quite a bit, it’s not the number of words I’ve written, but how well I like them.

4. I found out about Central Avenue Publishing from: Michelle Halket contacted me when she first started ireadiwrite as a boutique bookstore and asked me if I was interested in having my work included.

5. The last book I read was: The Hambledown Dream by Dean Mayes. What a great read!

6. In order for me to sit down and write, I need: Someone to go outside and make sure that all woodchippers and loud machinery are turned off. 🙂 I need quiet. It helps to have my desk straightened up. It helps a lot. But most importantly, I need to know where I plan to take my writing that day. When I have a specific direction, I’m much more likely to be successful.

7. My ‘day job’ is: I am a member of SAG-AFTRA and work as a background actor, mostly in TV and films.

8. I carve out time to write by:  Digging a hole in the ground and crawling into it. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

9. In order to find time to write, I feel as though I sacrifice: Communication with friends, cleaning chores, and just some plain old-fashioned down time.

10. I am currently working on: A young adult paranormal book. No vampires or werewolves. Just some strange happenings!

11. The best piece of advice I ever got was from:  my mother and it was: “pretend that every word you write costs you a dollar.”

12. The best piece of advice I would give is: Have a general idea of the beginning, middle, and end of your story. Know where you’re headed and then enjoy the crazy detours getting there.

On Being a Small Press Author – Sabrina Zollo

Running a small press is just like running a business with a group of employees – well almost. I don’t actually get to see them every day and we can’t gather around the water cooler to chat. Since we all see each other only virtually, I thought it might be nice to ‘introduce’ our authors to both each other and their readers via a series of short interviews. These interviews will run every couple of days for the next month or so – it’s a neat way of finding out how similar authors can be, and yet so different.


Today I’m happy to present Sabrina Zollo, the newest author in our publishing house. Her book, WHY I LOVE MY GAY BOYFRIEND, was just released on Friday and it’s a fun story of a young woman’s new life as she enters the corporate world. I met Sabrina through a former mutual colleague who encouraged her to submit to our house, and I’m sure glad she did. She’s a fun, very professional gal who also happens to be Canadian! Please join me in welcoming her aboard.

1. The first book I can remember reading is: I was a reading monster growing up. I loved books. A WRINKLE IN TIME really stands out from my childhood. Before you’re impressed, note that I also owned the whole Sweet Valley High series.

2. The first book I ever wrote was: Actually, it’s the one that Central Avenue Publishing is publishing right now. I wrote a lot growing up but WHY I LOVE MY GAY BOYFRIEND is the first book I ever finished writing. A pretty good incentive for me to follow through on all my endeavours!

3. I found out about Central Avenue Publishing through my day job. I was presenting to a retailer and my colleague thought it would be fun to mention that I wrote a book. With a title like WHY I LOVE MY GAY BOYFRIEND, it was a little embarrassing to talk about in a corporate meeting with a customer, but it turned out the buyer knew Michelle and recommended that I submit my novel. I decided to submit my book to increase my odds.

I had gotten about twenty rejections before Michelle reached out to me. I read her email while I was away on business late at night and broke out in a celebration dance alone in my hotel room, contemplating whether I should contact my co-workers to go down to the hotel bar and celebrate. The next morning they were upset that I hadn’t!

4. The last book I read was the Steve Jobs biography. A fascinating book. What a true genius to have revolutionized everything he touched, despite possibly being the meanest person in the world.

5. In order for me to sit down and write, I need to feel so strongly about something and so connected to it that it just comes pouring out of me. I read in WRITING DOWN THE BONES that you need to let life experiences marinate within you before you realize what impact it had on you. WHY I LOVE MY GAY BOYFRIEND was inspired by a life event but it took me more than five years to realize what I wanted to say about it. And then as I wrote, I learned some more.

6. My ‘day job’ is:  I’m a brand manager at a health company. After marketing beauty, food and drug products, it’s so weird to be marketing myself!

7. I carve out time to write by forcing myself to write every Sunday afternoon no matter what. It’s amazing how efficient and productive you become when you restrict yourself to small windows.

8. I am currently working on marketing my first book – it’s my night/weekend job right now but I’m loving it. My second book is still marinating but I feel like it may be ready soon.

9. The best piece of advice I ever got regarding my writing was from my good friend Alysia. I was disappointed after a year of rejection for my book and she made me promise to keep submitting and not stop until I got a hundred rejections. Who knew that setting massive rejection as a goal would end up as the opposite?

10. The best piece of advice I would give is: Ask yourself what gives you joy and happiness and what you are truly passionate about in life. If you’re not doing it then ask yourself what the hell you’re waiting for.  Asking myself this question is what inspired me to actually write my book.