Through Shadowpaw Press, I’ve released a new, revised edition of Spirit Singer, my young adult fantasy, first published in 2002, that won multiple awards: a Saskatchewan Book Award (the Regina Book Award for best book by a Regina author), an EPPIE Award for best electronically published young adult novel, and a Dream Realm Award (young adult category) for best electronically published science fiction, fantasy, or horror.
Spirit Singer was first published in 2002 by Awe-Struck E-Books, and brought out in a print edition by their offshoot, Earthling Press. In 2013, a new edition, published by Tyche Books, was released. I regained the rights to the book last year and decided to make it the third title released by Shadowpaw Press, in the hope that a new generation of readers will find and enjoy it.
I also took the opportunity to make some minor revisions, cleaning up the writing with the benefit of another twenty years’ of experience since it was first drafted. The result is a book I’m proud to re-release into the wild.
Spirit Singer is available in in all ebook formats now, either directly from Shadowpaw Press or your favorite online retailer, and the new 244-page paperback edition will be available April 30, again through all online bookstores or through your own local bookstore–or direct from Shadowpaw Press.
Here’s the synopsis:
AMARYNTH IS A SPIRIT SINGER, gifted – or cursed, as she sometimes thinks – with the ability to lead the spirits of the dead from the Lower World through the Between World to the Gate of the Upper World and the Light that lies beyond it.
While she is still an apprentice. her grandfather and tutor is slain by a mysterious creature in the Between World, an evil Beast blocking access to the Upper World’s Gate. Without a Spirit Singer, her village cannot survive, so Amarynth embarks on a hazardous quest to find out what the Beast is, how it can be defeated, and how she can become a full-fledged Spirit Singer – a quest that takes her not only from her tiny seacoast home to the city of Havenheart and the haunted mountains of the south, but across the even more rugged terrain of her own soul.
It had some nice reviews when it first came out (and later):
Praise from Canadian Literature magazine…
“…deserved the Saskatchewan Book Award it won. Aimed for the early to mid-teen group, Spirit Singer is a strong, well-written book with great adventure and sympathetic characters. Willett’s book has fast-paced adventure, sword-play, ghostly help, kidnappings, automatons who serve pure evil, royalty and brave commoners…Spirit Singer holds more than just solid characters and an exciting plot. It is about deception, both external and internal, in the eternal search for love and acceptance. It is about the need to accept oneself to be able to move forward and achieve great things and the need to be wise and discerning about others.” – Lynn (J.R.) Wytenbroek
…and the 2002 Saskatchewan Book Awards jurors…
“This is a fast-paced, spiritual quest book, full of narrow escapes, evil masquerading as good, good appearing in nasty people (just like in real life!), adventure, dreams and bits of wisdom. The writing is spare and the words well-chosen, so that complex characters and interesting places emerge full-blown in the reader’s mind, and the plot moves apace. I felt always in the story, and not a mere spectator/reader. Written for teenagers, but this 50-something guy had a great time.” – David Waltner-Toews
“Clearly defined characters, setting & plot carry a reader eagerly from page to page through adventure-filled chapters that deftly conclude with cliff-hangers…The plot is fast-paced and clever, the writing never disappoints and the author clearly keeps his target audience in mind. A great read from start to finish.” – Shirlee Matheson
…and from SF Site..
“…a fun novel with engaging characters and having all the basic elements of a good fantasy…young readers would likely get much more out of this book in terms of good succinct plotting and writing than they’d ever be likely to from the droves of role-playing game tie-ins and fat fantasy trilogies.” – Georges T. Dodds
…and from MyShelf.com…
“This book takes the reader on a magical journey to a mystical land, and all within a hundred pages…It is a quick, but very satisfying read; I spent any free time I had reading over the two days it took me to read the story. I recommend this book for anyone that is in the mood for an adventure…Spirit Singer definitely does not disappoint.” – Amy Mehta
…and The Word on Romance…
“Spirit Singer is a magical, mystical journey…very satisfying. The talented Mr. Willett has given us a well-written fantasy that you won’t want to put down. I highly recommend Spirit Singer to young and old alike.” – Carol Durfee, Senior Editor
Buy a copy for yourself or get one for a young person in your life!