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2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 25 books toward her goal of 175 books.

Guest Post: Get a Book. Give a Book. Donates Books to Children in Haiti Courtesy of Authors Shane Trusz and Darryl Frayne

Today’s post is a guest piece to share information about a fantastic program to improve literacy in Haiti. As you read this, one of the lead authors involved in the program – Shane Trusz – is in Haiti, working on the ground to get things running. You can witness his progress and firsthand, by visiting him and co-author Darryl Frayne via any of their social media links, including Facebook, Instagram, and GoodReads for Darryl or GoodReads for Shane. Check the sites out for live feeds and updates, and then check out The Maidstone Chronicles for a great read AND your own chance to help! Promos will be available in December via the series website – – so definitely take a look…

Get a Book. Give a Book.
For every book we sell at list price (print or eBook) we are providing a student workbook to a child in Haiti.

Submitted by Shane Trusz, author of Across the Fourwinds, Book 1 of The Maidstone Chronicles

I often reflect on my time living in Haiti. It’s a complicated part of the world with no easy solutions. My heart breaks because more often than not, the problems seem too big to fix.

One serious issue plaguing the country is the literacy rate. The average literacy rate for Latin America and the Caribbean countries is just over 90%. The literacy rate for for Haitian woman is 57% and for Haitian men it’s 64%. Nearly half the population currently residing in the country will never learn to read.

You don’t have to spend too much time there to see the shortages in education supplies and books. I’ve been to many schools where the kids simply sit and listen to the teacher talk with no textbooks, workbooks, or pencils in sight. Think back to when you were learning how to read and write. Learning these life skills is not a spectator sport. You need paper to practice on.

With this in mind—and long before my first fantasy novel, Across the Fourwinds was published—we set up our “Get a Book, Give a Book Program.” It’s simple: for every book we sell, whether e-book, paperback, or hard cover, we will provide a student workbook to a child in Haiti. This is a simple one for one program and we love it.

How can we do this? Simple. While living in Haiti, I met a couple who run an organization called Future Hope Haiti. These people are changing the landscape in Mirebalais (60 km northeast of Port-au-Prince). They help with skills training, job creation, and of course, education. When I reached out to them with the Get a Book, Give a Book idea, I could feel the excitement from halfway across the world because they know how powerful the gift of literacy is and how few people receive it. With the help of these workbooks, and a team of volunteers teaching the kids, we can start to shed some light in a really dark part of the world.

I’m heading to Haiti this December as I do every year, only this time I’m heading down with our first load of student workbooks. You’ll want to come and visit our website towards the end of December at to see all the pictures and videos from my trip.

And then I get back to work on writing and promoting The Maidstone Chronicles books. Seeing the joy on those kids’ faces is great motivation to write and sell more books.

I think “Get a Book, Give a Book” is a pretty simple deal. Readers of YA fantasy books get an action-packed adventure AND they get to help a child in Haiti learn to read.


About Across the Fourwinds (Book One of The Maidstone Chronicles)
Seeking the truth about dark family secrets, Will & Morgan journey across a magical land to face an ancient evil bent on global destruction.

From the back cover:
Will Owens is an orphaned teenager with a unique ability that has alienated him in the quiet town of Cochrane: he can see dark creatures emerging from the Arden Forest. And people are dying.

Will is befriended by Morgan Finley, a stunning fencing champion whose dreams of a Yale scholarship are haunted by her family’s secrets. The unlikely friends venture into the Arden Forest where they enter the Fourwinds, a magical realm in the throes of a brutal war.

Entrusting their lives to a Callum Sage and his rogue companions, Will and Morgan embark on a perilous journey across the Fourwinds to face an ancient evil birthed in a tower known as the Maidstone.

Courage, faith, and friendship are tested at every turn, but the group has yet to realize the full extent of the powerful forces that threaten to destroy the Fourwinds and reach far beyond the town of Cochrane.

About Shane Trusz
When he’s not creating exciting stories or helping to drive projects in Mirebalais, Haiti, you can find Shane at the office where he is a managing partner with the Springleaf Financial Group. He lives in Kelowna, BC with his wife and son.

About Darryl Frayne
Although Darryl prefers to be immersed in the details of a good story, he also helps create print and online marketing pieces for clients as a self-employed graphic designer. He lives in Langley, BC with his wife and two sons.

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