Raven Publishing announces author and independent book publisher Janet Muirhead Hill named as first runner up for this year’s Writer’s Notes Magazine Award for the sixth and final book in her Starlight Series, entitled “Starlight Comes Home.” The revised edition of her first book, “Miranda and Starlight,” was graced with a Notable award for young adult fiction in the 2004 Writer’s Notes Awards. More book awards for this series have since followed, including a “Best Books 2004” given by USA Book News for “Starlight Shines for Miranda.”
Writer’s Notes Magazine Awards recognizes great independent titles that truly embody the American spirit of publishing, those more concerned with quality over quantity.
Panelist Christopher Klim states, “Miranda grows up as the Starlight series draws to a close with its sixth and final book. It’s another exciting story that aims to please and teach. The maturity of the characters, as well as the theme of understanding others, is on target for its intended audience. Hill, a skilled and talented writer, maintains the values of trust and loyalty that made earlier books in this series so memorable. We appreciate the simplicity of her language without talking down to younger readers. As many YA novels layer on the gore and depravity, it’s a pleasure to find a straightforward and meaningful series that we could recommend to any age.”
The popularity of this contemporary classic story with a “Harry Potter” type of following amongst middle-grade girls that love horses, spawned the continuation of the series to include six books overall. All of the books share the love that lies between children, horses and the land, weaving in contemporary life issues such as single and displaced parenting, adoptions, death of loved ones, racism, peer pressure, coming of age issues and having courage and persevering for what one believes in, no matter how bad things seem at the time. The heroine, Miranda, grows up and matures throughout the storyline, turning age fourteen by the end of “Starlight Comes Home.”
Author Hill comments, “’Starlight Comes Home’ was inspired by my fans, many children as well as adults who have fallen in love with Miranda and other characters in the previous books and clamored for more. And I was inspired by Miranda herself, as well as the actual people in my life that she represents. I wanted to see how Miranda would deal with adolescence ~ tumultuous years for any teen. I wanted, through Miranda and her friends, to confront more of the issues that life tends to give us, and through Miranda, inspire young readers with hope, courage, and personal resolve that will help them deal with similar issues.” The rapidly approaching death of Ms. Hill’s mother also played a role in the writing of “Starlight Comes Home.” “She was one of my most avid fans, and she was dying of congestive heart failure. My heart was wrenched as I sought every possible opportunity to give joy to her last days, as well as to take from her all the love and blessing her presence bestowed upon my life. I wrote chapter after chapter in record time, so that I would have something to read to her each day. She did hear it all before she died. It was probably because the death of my dearest loved one was so imminent that I knew that someone in my book would have to die. Death is an inescapable part of our existence. Children, if they haven’t already, will at some point have to experience the loss of someone very close to them. I thought perhaps Miranda and other characters in the book could help them.”
Janet also edits and produces a bi-monthly newsletter/forum for survivors of child abuse called “Alone Together” and is an advocate for child abuse prevention. Now that the sixth and final book in the Starlight Series is in print, she is striving to give wings to other fledgling talent by publishing works of regional authors, beginning with “Fergus, the Soccer Playing Colt” (working subtitle) ISBN 09714161-7-6, by author Dan A. Peterson, slated for release in July 2005. In addition, fans can anticipate more books from Janet Muirhead Hill in the coming year. Ms. Hill also corroborated with film producer Robert Kollar of Top Herrmann Entertainment, Inc. to develop the screenplay for a planned feature film trilogy, based upon the Starlight Series, and will work closely with him on any necessary rewrites. Visit www.ravenpublishing.net or www.janetmuirheadhill.com, to learn more about this breakthrough “do-it-herself” author, advocate and publisher who writes from the heart to make a difference for children everywhere.
Title: Starlight Comes Home (The Starlight Books, 6)
Author: Janet Muirhead Hill
Publisher: Raven Publishing, Inc.
5.58 x 10.5 softcover, 250 pp., full color cover with 22 b&w illustrations nestled within the pages, $9.
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