When Regina Sirois first climbed onto the “new author” bandwagon, she had to fight to get her book into the public eye.
Even then, she waffled about entering the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. Sirois’ husband pushed her to just send her book in. From more than 5,000 entries, her work, “On Little Wings,” was announced in June as the ABNA winner for young adult fiction.
"Winning the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award has been one of the most shocking and incredible experiences," Sirois said in an email.
For Sirois, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and mother of two who currently lives in the Olathe Kansas Stake, the reward has been worth the struggle. “On Little Wings” was even ranked the seventh best-selling literary fiction book on Kindle.
“I wrote ‘On Little Wings’ because I felt like there were very few young adult books that dealt with the real emotions of first love without wallowing in the mire,” Sirois said. “I wanted a narrator who was both real and virtuous.”
In the book, Jennifer, a 16-year-old only child living in Nebraska, is perfectly content with her happily ordinary life. However, while thumbing through an old book she stumbles on a secret that crushes her trust in family and home.
Compelled to find the truth, she plunges head long into a unique adventure in small-town coastal Maine. While living on a scenic cove, Jennifer meets Nathan Moore, an eccentric boy genius surrounded by women who depend on him to be father, son, brother and friend. He is pulled to provide for his struggling family and to set aside his own life for their sake.
Drawn into a life she didn’t expect, Jennifer feels pressured to bring all the loose ends back together. This means doing the impossible — getting her suffering mother to come home to Maine. As she works to discover the truth about her past, Jennifer begins a new story that will forever change her future.
“On Little Wings” is a sweet book. The main characters are real and relatable, while the supporting cast is loaded with peculiar individuals who will quickly become reader’s favorites. The quirky but lovable dynamic of the town is entrancing. Jennifer is a character it is easy to cheer for.
Although the plot does not involve Mormon people, the characters do live high moral standards that easily blend with LDS beliefs. It is a clean and wholesome story.
Sirois is a master word painter. Her imagery has depth and beauty. The story is a bit predictable at times, but it is still very enjoyable. Readers will easily be pulled into the picturesque and charming tale.
“On Little Wings” is currently available for Kindle readers through Amazon.com, and will be released in print in August 2013 and can be pre-ordered now. For more information, visit Sirois’ website reginasirois.com.
Melissa DeMoux is a stay-at-home mother of six young children who lives in West Valley City. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org and she blogs about her adventures in motherhood at demouxfamily.blogspot.com.