16 Sept 2016

We Can(ada) Read: Sabrina from Beyond the Book Reviews discussing Lena Coakley!

We Can(ada) Read is by Canadianfor EVERYONE to learn more about some amazing Canadian authors! We have 16 Canadian bloggers highlighting 16 Canadian authors plus you can hear about what it's like to live in Canada and write CanLit from 8 Canadian authors, most of which are 2016 debuts! For a full schedule of events during We Can(ada) Read, please click HERE!

On one faithful summer day, Sabrina was extremely bored and had too much time on her hands. Already having read a ton of books she decided to try out blogging. She produced Beyond the Book Reviews and took on the persona of Library Luv as her blogging name.

Since then she has been blogging for over a year and reviews mainly YA book with the occasional NA. Sabrina has had many wonderful authors guest appear on her blog for interviews. However, not only does she interview authors, but she has submersed herself in the blogging community by interviewing bloggers as well. 

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This month of September we get to celebrate all kinds of Canadian authors through this lovely blog and idea Jamie created. Since each of us got to generally pick who we wanted to write about, a few names came to mind. Lena Coakley being the first. 

The first time I saw one of Lena’s book was back at my junior high schools’ book fair. It was her first book, the beautiful blue one known as Witchlanders. I remember wanting it really bad, but I could only choose one and evidently I ended up choosing the other book. It wasn’t until a couple years later that I actually got to pick up it. Witchlanders was a fantasy novel that had to do with two strong bloodlines. One involves witches known as Witchlanders, the other involving sirens of a sort known as Baen. 

Now when I first read Witchlanders I actually didn’t know that Coakley was a Canadian author. Reading this novel made me fall in love with her writing style. She captivated me from start to finish, and when I did end up finishing her book I just had to see if she had more books to read. Much to my surprise, I found out that Lena at the time didn’t have any books currently out besides Witchlanders. However since Witchlanders Lena has produced several children books and actually released a young adult novel this past January (Worlds of Ink and Shadows). 

A Worlds of Ink and Shadows was yet again a captivating read, but this time it was a little different from the first. She took the lives of the Bronte siblings, and made it into her own story. She incorporated real life events that they experienced and made it fit into her world she created for them. It became a bestseller, much like her first novel had accomplished. 

Now I’m sure you are all wondering what makes Lena Coakley a great Canadian author besides producing two enchanting reads, well let me tell you. She wasn’t actually born in Canada; she was born in Milford, Connecticut and raised in long island. It wasn’t until she met her husband that she moved to Canada. However once in Canada she became submersed with all kinds of Canadian literature and publishing. Lena Coakley may not have been born and raised here, but she practically was at heart. She now is even the Vice President of CANSCAIP, which is the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators, and Performers.

Lena Coakley is a prime example of what us Canadian book bloggers have the pleasure of saying “Yup, that’s a Canadian author”. She has produced two magically enchanting reads, and has dedicated her job to helping out Canadian children authors, illustrators and performers. She is also an author for which I can’t wait to see what she writes next, I am sure it will also be another amazing read.

Lena Coakley’s first novel, Witchlanders, was called “one stunning teen debut” by Kirkus Reviews and won the SCBWI Crystal Kite award for the Americas.  Her latest novel, Worlds of Ink and Shadow, a portal fantasy about the young Brontë siblings and the worlds they created, debuted at #1 on both the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star bestseller lists. Learn more about her at www.lenacoakley.com

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