Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Secrets from Myself by Christine Hart (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

by Christine Hart


GENRE:   Middle Grade



Twelve-year-old Katelyn has always heard voices and had visions. She's long suspected she was hearing from past lives. But when she runs away from home and hides out with an old friend in Vancouver, things become more real. She even finds herself writing the words of someone else in a diary - the words of someone whose fate was deeply impacted by the Komagata Maru incident.

As Katelyn learns more about the Komagata Maru and the person communicating with her, she realizes that she has a task to fulfill that will correct a wrong from the past.



MY TURN IN the shower has been bumped to after dinner because of my tardy return from the Drive. I don’t like going to bed with wet hair and the house hairdryer is broken. I’ll just have to deal. But after a truly brain-blending afternoon, I decide sleeping with wet hair isn’t something worth complaining to Mariah about.

I draw the curtain and turn the shower to mostly hot. I peel off my tank top and denim shorts. I step inside the steamy enclosure and pick up the communal shampoo bottle, cursing myself for not picking up some of my own toiletries during one of my brief outings.

As I work the foamy soap through my hair, my arms start to feel chilly. I turn the water all the way to hot. Stupid small hot water tank. They’re supposed to be housing half a dozen girls here. Can’t they do better?

The water starts to scald my skin, but the air around me is still cold. I start to feel nauseous. I need to sit down. Now. I flick off the shower head and sit down in the shower, hugging my knees for warmth. It’s no good.

I pull the shower curtain back to grab a towel. I look over at the bathroom mirror and scream. It’s not me! It’s HER! Akasha’s face stares back at me from behind the condensation on the wet glass. Several lines are written in characters I don’t recognize.

Buy links:
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Located on BC’s beautiful West Coast, I write from my suburban Langley home on the border between peaceful forests and urban streets.  I love writing about places and spaces with rich history and visually fascinating elements as a backdrop for the surreal and spectacular. 
In addition to my undergraduate degree in writing and literature, my background also includes corporate communications and design. I am a current member of the Federation of BC Writers and SF Canada.
When not writing, I have a habit of breaking stuff and making stuff – in that order – under the guise of my Etsy alter-ego Sleepless Storyteller.  I share my eclectic home and lifestyle with my husband and our two energetic children.



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4 out of 5 stars

Secrets from Myself by Christine Hart is an intriguing middle grade paranormal mystery that addresses a somber intercultural event in Canada’s history. The experiences of young Kaetlyn are out of the realm of knowledge a twelve-year-old should have, and her struggle to solve the mystery of the young woman she seems to be channeling has made her mom and others feel Kaetlyn has a mental problem. Kaetlyn is determined to figure out who the other female is, but the knowledge may come at a very steep price.

I thought this was an interesting way to explore the idea of channeling a spirit and the repercussions of that as pragmatism runs into mysticism. I admire Kaetlyn’s determination as well as her mom’s efforts to make sure her daughter has whatever care needed without being drugged into cooperation and acquiescence. The gradual unfolding of the mystery and the distressing facts that are revealed provide a unique perspective on a shameful set of circumstances. I was a bit puzzled by the erratic nature of Bryce and his family’s interaction with Kaetlyn, even though there is somewhat of an explanation at the end, and I am a little concerned about some of the events described being a little mature for the target audience of this story. This was an intriguing way of learning a bit of history even as it provided a bit of a spooky read and prompted me to contemplate the concepts of mental health and rehabilitation as well as prejudice and bigotry. I think this is both an entertaining and educational story that could stimulate thought-provoking discussions on a variety of subjects.

A copy of this story was provided to me for review.