7th Jan, 2018

2017 Books

Time for my favorite books of 2017 post. I read about 87 books during the year, some I didn’t finish, but that’s a fairly accurate number. Some I read aloud to Victor, which was fun. Sometimes I do a long list of favourites, in 2016 I simply picked one book (A Gentleman in Moscow). This year, I’m going to just list a few of the greats I read by category.

Favourite Nonfiction for Kids

Lizards in the Sky by Claire Eamer – fun, fact packed, and a great read with fabulous illustrations. Interesting for adults as well as kids.

Favourite Middle Grade – It’s a tie

Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess by Shari Green – Shari is a friend of mine, so I was looking forward to reading this book in verse and the whole time I was reading it, I kept thinking, “I’m soooo proud of her! This is amazing!” Victor loved it too.

Lemons by Melissa Savage – I hope this book gains traction as I think it’s a really amazing book. I have to admit, I stopped after about 30 pages because it seemed as if I knew where it was going. But then I kept thinking about it, so I picked it up again and it surprised me. By the time I was done, I was completely in love with it.

The YA I Loved

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – I was not a fan of her earlier, extremely popular book (I’ve even forgotten the name), so I started this with some trepidation. I absolutely loved it. Really. A whole lot.

Best Adult Nonfiction

Indigenous Writes by Chelsea Vowell – a must-read for Canadians and Americans could get a lot out of it too. Answers to all those questions those of us who aren’t indigenous want to know, but have been afraid to ask. Entertaining, tongue in cheek humour, and incredibly accessible and informative.

Just a Really Great Read

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George – A novel I devoured and then Victor blew through in two days, too. A wonderful story, beautifully written.

The Novel I wish I’d Written

Beautiful Ruins  by Jess Walter – Amazing. And inspiring. I read this once myself and once aloud to Victor in the same year. It’s that good. And it really made me up my game as far as my own writing. You will love it, no matter who you are or what you like to read.

The Most Beautiful Book I Read

Small Beneath the Sky by Lorna Crozier – I had the opportunity to do a literary event with Lorna and we got this poetic memoir to read aloud. Absolutely stunning.

Victor’s Favourite Read

The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide – a novella translated from Japanese to English. He loved the library copy so much, Santa brought him his own.

My Favourite Book Released in 2017

A Month of Mondays by…ME!

Through Sunday (Dec 17) my publisher has A MONTH OF MONDAYS for 40% off (Canadian…if you buy it with US dollars, that practically makes it free…okay, not quite, but still it’s an awesome deal).



15th Nov, 2017

PNBA Shortlist

I’m extremely honoured to share that Speed of Life has been included on the Pacific Northwest Bookseller Association 2018 Shortlist. Out of 420 nominated books, they chose 12 and only one Young Adult novel! To find out more about it, visit their site.

Here is a list of the nominated books:


You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me
A Memoir
Sherman Alexie

American War
A Novel
Omar El Akkad

This Is How It Always Is
A Novel
Laurie Frankel

All’s Faire in Middle School
Victoria Jamieson

The Hope of Another Spring
Takuichi Fujii, Artist and Wartime Witness
Barbara Johns

Speed of Life
J.M. Kelly

Little Blue Chair
Madeline Kloepper, Illustrator
(words by Cary Fagan)

The Selected Short Fiction of Ursula K. Le Guin
Boxed Set: The Found and the Lost; The Unreal and the Real
Ursula K. Le Guin

The Book of Mistakes
Corinna Luyken

Dead Feminists
Historic Heroines in Living Color
Chandler O’Leary and  Jessica Spring

A Novel
Emily Ruskovich

The Science and Spirit of the Ocean
Jonathan White


3rd Nov, 2017

Ontario Tour Dates

I will be touring in Ontario twice in 2018 (Jan & May), which means reduced travel fees for those of you in Ontario. Also, there’s some assistance available through the Writers Union of Canada.

Info about workshops, offerings, fees, and travel are under the Have Me Visit tab along the top. My tour dates are now available here. 

24th Oct, 2017

Writers Social

If you’re looking for info on the November Writers Social, it’s under the Events, Appearances, & Workshops tab.

I’m very honoured to be included on the Ontario Library Association’s White Pine Award Nominee list for 2018. Speed of Life is one of ten books, and I can’t wait to read the other nine! Congratulations to everyone on the list. I’m particularly excited about being on this list because it’s a Reader’s Choice Award. Those are pretty awesome. And in May, I’ll be going to Toronto for the Festival of Trees to meet readers!

Here’s the list.

 Writing & Whiskey

A fun evening of writing—unleash your creativity the way thousands of writers before you have—with whiskey! No writing experience necessary. Snacks will be provided to help absorb the alcohol, but please make sure you have a safe way home!*

13 October, 7pm – 9pm, Arts & Heritage Centre

Space is limited, pre-registration REQUIRED


*Don’t imbibe or are the Designated Driver, but you want to participate? The DD rate is $35 and alternate non-alcoholic beverages will be provided. Please let me know when registering.

To register contact me at workshops @ joelleanthony dot com

Email me to join the mailing list to hear about future workshops & appearances!

6th Jun, 2017

Send Down the Elevator

I once heard an interview with a comic who was talking about when you reach the top, you shouldn’t forget to send the elevator down to all your friends and colleagues who you like/admire in order to help them succeed. Two writers have really gone out of their way for me in this respect. Both Eileen Cook (her latest,With Malice is out in paperback today!), and Joelle Charbonneau have been great about mentioning my books, in particular Speed of Life. In this video interview with Joelle, she talks about her new book Dividing Eden (out today), but she also sends that elevator down to me. Thank you, my friends!

Joelle Charbonneau #BookConLive

Join us for a chat with Joelle Charbonneau, author of DIVIDING EDEN, at #BookConLive!

Epic Reads 发布于 2017年6月3日

If you’re not on FB (like me!), then simply click on “not now” when the sign-in page comes up. You should be able to watch it after that.


6th Jun, 2017

How to Help an Author

I would also like to add: Request your library buy the book (if they don’t have it already). My book budget doesn’t stretch to everything I want, so I often do this. It actually helps the author even more than you buying it, because libraries often buy multiple copies!

Enter to win one of five copies of A Month of Mondays here. And while you’re there, you can get a sneak preview of the first three chapters.

Did you know I’m also a freelance editor? You can hire me to give you editorial feedback on your manuscript. I prefer to stick to the genres I’m most familiar with and enjoy reading, so if you have a manuscript that falls into any of the categories below, and are interested in getting more information about my services, please email me through the contact page. I’m about to finish up a new book of my own, and am scheduling clients for June, July, and August now.

Genres I edit: Middle Grade fiction, Contemporary YA fiction, Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction, Memoir, and general Fiction. As you’ll see, there’s nothing too dark here…no Horror, Thrillers, Mysteries, or Science Fiction/Fantasy. I prefer to stay away from excessive violence and bullying as well. This is not a judgement on those topics, I simply have to consider my own mental well-being and so I give those a miss. If I don’t do what you’re looking for and you would like a referral, my favourite person to recommend (for some, but not all of those genres) is the wonderful writer and editor, Eileen Cook. She’s the person I use myself!

Canada has lost a great writer this month, and while I have always enjoyed interviews with him, I will admit I haven’t worked up the guts to read his writing because in his own words, “it will tear your heart out” and I like my heart firmly in place. I know I’m missing one of the greats, and someday the time will be right for me to read him. In the meantime, in honour of both Richard Wagamese and the Cubs…it’s time for baseball! And as Mr. Wagamese said in Embers:

Every year, once spring has sprung, my world regains proper proportion because baseball is back. I love the central metaphor of the game—all of us helping each other to make it home. Funny how a game can teach us so much about life…

Thank you to my friend Susan for writing this quote out on a post-it note and getting it to me. As I do every year on opening day, I will wear my grandfather’s Cubs jacket that I inherited from him, but this year…underneath it, I will also be wearing my Cubs 2016 World Series Champion tee!

On that note, let’s play ball! Go Cubs Go!

A fun time was had by all! And if you want to win a signed copy of A Month of Mondays, my good friend the writer Alexa Barry is giving one away (Canada, US, UK) on her instagram page.

Also, if you’re in the US and you’ve tried to order it and seen the 1-2 month delivery time, I’ve been told that they’re still waiting for delivery at the distribution centres, but it shouldn’t really take that long. Alternatively, you can order from Amazon.ca and even with shipping, the exchange rate is so much in your favour right now that you should come out okay.

19th Mar, 2017

What He Said…

7th Mar, 2017

Release Day!

Happy Book Birthday to A Month of Mondays!

As is my tradition, I’m celebrating the release of my book by posting my Thank Yous.


Thank you so much to everyone at Second Story Press. Your enthusiasm and kindness is much appreciated, as is the charming cover. Thank you to my mother who has been with me (and Suze) every step of the way. Also big helpings of thanks to Cheryl Tradewell and Mark Shaw for research assistance, and Alexa and Eileen, fellow Brouhahas. I must include Will Barry here, too (for no other reason than he’s an awesome kid and a reader). Michael Bourret – merci beaucoup! And as always, Victor Anthony…this is the first thing of mine you ever read and you believed in it way back then. You’re my shining star.


16th Feb, 2017

Yes! So true!

Nothing says I love you like a book for Valentine’s Day!

While I’m all about buying newly published books, might I suggest a Nevil Shute love story? They’re always so much more than a simple romance. Often set against the background of war, they’re exciting and romantic. Of course, you sort of have to plan ahead to find them, but maybe for next year?

Pastoral Product Details

Ruined CityProduct Details

The Far Country The Far Country

I keep hoping someone will make a movie of Ruined City because I think it could be so great!

Happy Valentine’s Day! And happy reading! What are your favourite love stories?


A Month of Mondays is an intensely readable novel. It is full of fun, bright and natural dialogue. It has a lovable underdog narrator, someone to whom many readers will relate. Highly Recommended. (CM: Canadian Review of Materials)

Just a quick reminder that my first middle grade novel, A Month of Mondays comes out one month from today! I’m very excited about this book, as I started it about…oh…twenty years ago! Seriously. See this post for details if you’re interested.

Here’s more of what reviewers are saying about it:

[Joëlle Anthony] has created an engaging narrator bound to resonate with readers. Suze is half Anglo, half Japanese, and a Canadian tween through and through. Her missteps, hesitations, and assumptions are universal, and when she faces her toughest challenges, she takes messy but brave leaps that leave her a little more mature than the day before.” – Booklist

“Suze Tamaki is a Grade 7 slacker whose wry observations about the world around her make her both loveable and relatable.” – Quill & Quire

“A solid story that explores themes of family, abandonment, and belonging.” – Kirkus Reviews

Also, my publisher is giving away a copy on Goodreads.

In other news, I’m scheduling school visits in the Victoria, BC area in early March and all points north of here in late May (as far as Fort St. John, BC), if you’re interested in having me come to your school, library, or book club, drop me a line through the contact page.

And now, back to writing!

1st Jan, 2017

What she said:

“If novelists know anything it’s that individual citizens are internally plural: they have within them the full range of behavioral possibilities. They are like complex musical scores from which certain melodies can be teased out and others ignored or suppressed, depending, at least in part, on who is doing the conducting. At this moment, all over the world—and most recently in America—the conductors standing in front of this human orchestra have only the meanest and most banal melodies in mind… But there is no place on earth where they have not been played at one time or another. Those of us who remember, too, a finer music must try now to play it, and encourage others, if we can, to sing along.”

Zadie Smith

31st Dec, 2016

One Book for 2016

Ever since I started blogging I have made a year-end shortlist of my favourite reads of the year, but this year is different. This year, I’ve chosen to highlight only one book. Why? Well, for one thing, I only read 80 books (I’ve been known to average 125) and not too many of them were really that outstanding. For another, 2016 was its own beast. The UNTHINKABLE happened which we won’t talk about here. The UNBELIEVABLE happened, which we will celebrate all the rest of our lives – the Cubs WON THE WORLD SERIES!!!! And some pretty nice things happened personally…I had a new YA come out in October and I sold my first MG (out March 7, 2017).

But the main reason I’m only featuring one book is because I love this book with a white hot passion. As soon as I finished reading it, I wanted to start over (and that has only ever happened to me with one other book – Pride & Prejudice). Originally, I got it from the library, but I ordered myself a copy out of my Christmas money and it arrived three days ago. I’m now reading it aloud to my husband. I also bought my mother a copy of it for Christmas and I think she’s reading it now. If you’re a writer, you can both enjoy this book and be amazed by the writing all while learning untold amounts. If you’re simply a reader, you will fall in love with the story and feel as if someone has given you a warm blanket, a cup of your favourite beverage, a French pastry and chair in front of a glowing fireplace on a snowy night.

Without further ado, may I present…




12th Nov, 2016

Globe & Mail!

It took me three books, but I finally got a national review! Thanks Globe & Mail for reviewing Speed of Life (J.M. Kelly). If you want to read the very nice review online, click here. If you want to read the book, it’s available to buy at places like Chapters, Amazon, Powell‘s and from your favourite indie bookstore!

globe-mail-reviewIf you live in Portland, OR and want a signed copy, email me through the contact page as I’ll be there in December and can probably arrange something. And if you feel like telling Powell’s they should carry it IN store, that’d be great because so far they only have it online.

Maybe you saw these pictures of my Speed of Life Diorama on my blog tour, but since then I’ve added a papier mache 1969 Mustang fastback and the dog, Bonehead. You might say that my talents fall more accurately when using Sculpy clay (Bonehead) than with papier mache, but for the record, this is a version of the car right after Crystal bought it, before she restored it and after being damaged in a hail storm. So actually, it’s pretty accurate. As long as you don’t pick it up because the wheels have been known to fall off.



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24th Oct, 2016

Bloggers are the Best!

Today I’m over at James Booth’s blog. For those of you who don’t know his blog, you should check it out. He’s been a big supporter of my work from the very beginning when he read an advanced copy of Restoring Harmony, so you can be sure I asked my publisher to send him an early copy of Speed of Life, too. He wrote a lovely review, followed by a fun interview. We discuss where my idea for the book came from, advice for writers, and most importantly…snackage!

Wondering what snackage is? This is snackage! Also known as writing fuel.


16th Oct, 2016

This Is Our Year!

This is the year that Cubs fans have been waiting for. In honour of their fabulous season so far, and with high hopes for the rest of the season, I bring you this musical interlude, performed by my husband, Victor Anthony.

14th Oct, 2016

Welcome Mimi Cross!

cross-shining-sea-21628-cv-ft-v3Today for the Friday Five, we have the lovely Mimi Cross!

  1. Is there an author or book you’d think everyone should read (besides yours, of course)?

The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater. 

To me, this is a perfect book. There’s not a wasted word, not one word out of place. 

I love the setting, and the characters. It’s a timeless love story, full of subtleties, that anyone but the youngest of readers can enjoy.

2. Do you think you’ll ever retire, or will you write until your dying day?

‘Til my dying day, baby. 

3. Do you crave anything when you’re writing?

Chocolate, sometimes. Company, once in a while. Writing is so solitary.

4. Have you ever done any running when no one’s chasing you?

Ha! Yes. I ran a 10K. I trained for a month first. The inspiration came from a boyfriend who’d taken up running. I was just trying to keep up with him, I think. In the long run, (heh, sorry, couldn’t resist) it didn’t work out. I’ll always think of him as the one who got away… Maybe if I’d been faster…

5. Do you dream in colour or black and white?

Color. Definitely.

Thanks Mimi! It’s always a joy to talk with you.

Mimi Cross is an author, singer, and songwriter. Grammy award–winning artist Rosanne Cash has described Cross’s writing and singing as “Fusing delicacy and power, heart and gut. Inspiring, evocative, and refreshing.” Cross received a bachelor of music from Ithaca College and an MA from New York University and is the creator of Body of Writing, a practice combining yoga and writing that boosts creativity. Her debut novel, Before Goodbye, was published by Skyscape. She resides with her young son in New Jersey.

Visit Mimi online at www.mimicross.com or follow her on Twitter @mimicross.

Thanks Mimi! And thanks for being so patient while I sat on these fantastic answers for so long (Mimi answered these way back before my husband broke his ankle in May and that took over our lives!).