After eight long years of writing, I am pleased to announce that my next novel is finally going to be published! While the publication date is still far out (October 2016 to be exact) I wanted to share the news and give you all a brief look at what lies ahead.
The title of the book is The Castoff Children. It is my first venture into the burgeoning arena of YA—stories geared towards Young Adults (and discerning adults).
I’ll set the scene:
The year is 1880, the America Civil War has long since come to an end and the industrial revolution is beginning to build steam, overturning the old ways of home and hearth as it gains momentum. The world is attempting to pull itself out of a global depression, during which many crops failed and millions of people have perished. It is during this desperate hour, in the back alleys of Boston, that a group of eleven castaway children come together to care for each other. Plagued by the unanswered questions surrounding their past and grief for loved ones lost, the children attempt to come to terms with the bitter truths that have defined their life thus far. Feeling forsaken, faced with prejudice, hostile gangs and in the hardest winter on record, the children find themselves on the ragged edge. Until a series of mysterious events begin taking place, making them feel that they are not as alone and helpless as they might have thought.
Separated from his friends during a week of successive blizzards, Joseph—the fourteen year old boy at the head of this family of outcasts—becomes snowbound in a condemned building while searching for one missing among their number. It is during his days beset in the basement of this building that Joseph, starved and feverish, experiences a vision of another life lived upon a rolling green land, spurring him to do something he hasn’t in a long time—believe that life could be more than mere survival. These surreal events culminating in the arrival of a good-hearted stranger who, while wounded himself by injustice and loss, brings renewed hope to these children who have dreamt of being loved.
Early Praise for The Castoff Children
“The Castoff Children is a lovely story of hope and the power of dreams and friendship….”
—Tomm Moore, Writer and Director of the Academy Award nominated film The Secret of Kells
“In her book, The Castoff Children, L.M. Browning has caught a poignant time in the 1800’s in New England when hardship and hard work were the common lot of many people and when children were abandoned to fend for themselves due to poverty and the inability of parents to care for them. Her characters are engaging, and her story tells of courage, of vision, of compassion and loyalty. This book will inspire many a reader to value what is lasting and dear in a life lived with enduring values.”
—Gunilla Norris, award-winning authors of Simple Ways, Becoming Bread, and Sheltered in the Heart
“Browning takes us into a Dickensian world of children whose blood bond with family has been broken by the cruel circumstances of late 19th century life. They are left to scrounge the alleyways of Boston in search of simple human warmth as much as food and shelter. The resourceful band of eleven waifs finds the help they need in a man who has lost his own family. But their journey for survival has just begun, and it leads them to a place far off from where they began. The Castoff Children is a timely reminder of all those who have been abandoned early in life, in today’s world as well as in the past.”
—George Harrar, author of Parents Wanted
Look for The Castoff Children Autumn 2016 from Homebound Publications.
About the Author: L.M. Browning grew up in a small fishing village in Connecticut. A longtime student of religion, nature, art, and philosophy these themes permeate her work. She is the author of a three-title contemplative poetry series that went on to garner several accolades including a total of 3 pushcart-prize nominations and the 2013 Nautilus Gold Medal for Poetry.
Balancing her passion for writing with her love of education and publishing, Browning is a graduate of the University of London and a Fellow with the League of Conservationist Writers. She is partner at Hiraeth Press; Associate Editor of Written River: A Journal of Eco-Poetics; Founder of The Wayfarer: A Journal of Contemplative Literature and in 2011, Browning opened Homebound Publications—a rising independent publishing house based in New England.
In 2012, she released Fleeting Moments of Fierce Clarity: Journal of a New England Poet. It went on to be named a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. She currently divides her time between her home in Connecticut and her work in Boston. Read the full bio here»