Does the drive for publicity never end? My latest attempt is reading extracts from the two Cinnamon Steven’s books on the Narratives Library website. The site is a great idea, covering a whole range of books. To hear my contribution go to http://www.narrativeslibrary.com/young-readers/ and scroll down.
In the May 2018 issue of Magpies magazine there’s a review of Ghost Light (page 38) by Joy Lawn. She writes: ‘The second title in the Cinnamon Stevens series for primary aged children is told mainly in journal form and is set in Melbourne, Victoria’s Mount Dandenong and Walhalla in Gippsland. Cinnamon, 12-years-old and in Year 7, takes Wing Chun Kung Fu classes and has a crush on Angelo who is disappointingly sexist. She has previously solved a case as an amateur detective with her friends Cossie, an aspiring actor, and Meera, who is a brainiac and bullied because of her intelligence, lack of interest in sport and Indian origin. Nasty racism emerges after Meera is unfairly blamed for dobbing. The dynamics of friendship is another major theme in the book, including Cinnamon’s misplaced concern that she is being left out of the trio and the consequences of sticking with a bullied friend. Cossie is auditioning and then rehearsing for the play of Macbeth in the new Ambassador Theatre, built by Adelaide Glendenning, who was famous for playing Lady Macbeth at the height of the gold rush. Now her ghost is sometimes seen in the theatre. Meanwhile Cinnamon and Meera go on an over-night school excursion to the goldfields at Walhalla. When a gang of students sneak into the cemetery at night, one of the boys is felled near Adelaide’s grave. Cinnamon is determined to solve the dual mysteries of the attack and the identity of the ghost. An easy read, with parts formatted as texts and emails and footnotes which often give further information or explain word meanings in Cinnamon’s energetic voice.
Just when I thought I should concentrate on my next children’s book, I hear from the Australian Script Centre that two of my plays are going to be performed this year! One in August in Queensland, and one by a community theatre in New Zealand in July. I’ve gone international! The play for Queensland is My Bed is a Crocodile about a teenage boy with schizophrenia. The New Zealand production is Blood and Bone, a play for adults about menopause. For more information on these and my other plays go to the Plays pages on this site.
Oh, and Ghost Light has been added to the Victorian Premier’s Reading Challenge booklist for Grades 5 and 6 – joining Crime Buster. May has been a good month so far!
Completed two launches for Cinnamon Stevens – Ghost Light. Whew! Very successful. I asked local primary schools to find students who were prepared to read the book and ask me questions. The response was amazing. All the kids were excellent. There was standing room only at the Belgrave library launch.
…and these are from the launch at Traralgon library, the nearest city to the old gold-mining town of Walhalla where much of the book is set. Note the yummy cake!
Some terrific reviews of Cinnamon Stevens – Ghost Light have appeared on Good Reads. Here’s one.
Glenys 5 stars
Cinnamon Stevens ‘Ghost Light’ is the second book in Pauline Hosking’s girl detective series for 10-12 year olds. Like ‘Crime Busters’, the first in the series, it is written as Cinnamon’s diary, created while working on the current case. Complete with illustrations, newspaper cut outs, sticky notes, emojis and text and email printouts, its presentation is very attractive.
The thrust of the diary follows Cinnamon’s detective work, solving the mystery of the ghost of Adelaide Glendenning, a famous actress from Victoria’s gold rush past. In settings as far apart as a city theatre, Mt Dandenong Secondary College and historic Walhalla, Cinnamon is confronted with a mystery: why does Adelaide’s ghost turn up during rehearsals of Macbeth? And who or what attacked Showy on the night she and some of her classmates went on a ghost search in the Walhalla cemetery? Cinnamon suspects the two incidents are linked. ‘Someone (probably me) has to find out the truth about Showy’s accident.’
From this point on you can hardly bear to stop reading for long enough to turn the page.
Merged in with the detective tale is the growing friendship between Cinnamon and her two friends and associate detectives, Meera and Cossie. Peppered with girlie banter, the friends model how generous mutual support can overcome bullying and racial taunts. Cinnamon in particular comes across as someone prepared to confront wrongdoing and put things right, important qualities for a detective-in-the-making.
Cinnamon and her friends solve the mystery of who attacked Showy and why, along with the true identity of the ghost that haunts the theatre. The investigation culminates in a showdown where the girls narrowly escape disaster by using their martial arts skills.
Pauline Hosking’s writes a fast paced whodunnit, spiced with humour and the everyday angst of life as a twelve year old girl. In Cinnamon she has created a likeable and believable character, a girl of action whose ambition, be a great detective with ‘nerves of steel’, will surely be realised. I loved Cinnamon’s list of inspirational quotes.
A great read. I hope we see more from Cinnamon soon.
Once again the great illustrations for the book were created by Kat Chadwick.
Kat’s website is: http://kat-chadwick-0oa9.squarespace.com/
So What’s Ghost Light About?
When Cinnamon’s Year 7 class has an excursion to Walhalla, trouble-maker Showy Daniels dares her to visit the out-of-bounds graveyard at night. It’s a dangerous place. Showy ends up unconscious with a wound to the back of his head. His friends blame Meera, one of Cinnamon’s besties, for the ‘accident.’
To stop Meera being bullied Cinnamon must discover exactly what happened to Showy AND solve the mystery of a haunted theatre (Cosette, Cinnamon’s other best friend, thinks she sees a ghost when she is auditioning for a part in Macbeth – the play about murder. And witches. And ghoooosts!!!).
While the main plot follows Cinnamon’s investigation, subplots deal with bullying and the nature of friendship. Like Crime Buster, it is a fun, mystery/detective story aimed at readers aged 9-12.
Ghost Light is distributed by Dennis Jones and Associates. Paperbacks are also available from Booktopia and The Book Depository. There’s an ebook on Amazon, Apple and Port Campbell press. The ISBN number is 978-0-646-98111-6. RRP $17.99.
To read the first pages, click on Cinnamon’s blog under the heading BOOKS.
Here’s an interview “Cinnamon” did with Just Kids Lit recently:
Read some nice comments about the book:
And another blog post, this time from Sally Odgers: http://promotemeplease.blogspot.com.au/2018/03/cinnamon-stevens-ghost-light-by-pauline.html
Candice Lemon-Scott posted on her blog site Young Author’s Academy: https://young-authors-academy.com/2018/04/26/new-book-release-cinnamon-stevens-ghost-light-by-pauline-hosking/
Here’s a link to Megan Higginson’s facebook page https://www.facebook.com/meganhigginsonauthor
which links to her blog interview with me: http://www.meganhigginson.com/blog/in-conversation-with-pauline-hosking
Two extracts from the book are on tablo: https://tablo.io/write/two-extracts-from-cinnamon-stevens-ghost-light
HIGHLIGHTS FROM 2017
Yesterday morning I had an email from one of the girls who attended my Belgrave writing workshop. She chose to dress up as my character Cinnamon Stevens for a Book Week event at her school. I went singing about the house all day!
Have just come back from a fabulous trip to Sri Lanka. Yes, that is me in the pic with a python wrapped around me. I had managed to climb to the top of Sigiriya Rock and was feeling pretty invincible. Saw lots of elephants during the trip, water buffalo, mongeese (mongooses?), monkeys, spotted deer etc. – but even though I spent EIGHT HOURS in a jeep on safari I did not see a leopard. The highlight was attending the Kandy Festival, an amazing procession full of whip crackers, fire throwers, dancers and elephants. It happens for two reasons. One is to petition the heavens for rain. The other is to show reverence to the tooth relic of Buddha, which was brought to Sri Lanka in the fourth century. The tooth (or a copy) is enshrined in a jewelled casket and carried by a tusker elephant (see the third picture).
Up to the umpteenth rewrite of Cinnamon’s second investigation. On advice from an editor I am changing it all into present tense. The book is called Ghost Light and concerns graveyards, ghosties and the eerie play Macbeth!
Ran two school holiday creative writing workshops. One was at Belgrave for the Eastern Regional Library service. The topic was Evil Villains and Super Heros. The second was at Glen Waverley for the Monash Library service. No limit to the numbers for this one and I gave 19 young people hints on How to Create a Crime. Really enjoy these days as they put me in touch with the thinking (and humour) of the age group I am writing for.
Delighted to learn that one of my plays for children – Two Gun Tess, Pride of the West had been accepted for publication by the New South Wales School Magazine. And they pay!
For a list of my other plays available for children (and adults and teenagers) go to the Plays section of the menu at the left of this page.
Cinnamon Stevens Crime Buster has been included on the 2017 Premiers Reading Challenge booklist for Grades 5 and 6. Amazing! Really pleased.
A new review of my first book, Crime Buster, has just been posted on GlamAdelaide. The reviewer, Leanne Caune, gave it a score of 80% for fun. She wrote: This story allows the reader to try to work the mystery out as the clues are exposed and will be a treasured item in a young person’s book shelf. I would recommend this book for young people between the ages of 9 and 13. It is also written in a way that young people struggling with reading skills will be able to read with relative ease.
For the full review go to: http://www.glamadelaide.com.au/main/book-review-cinnamon-stevens-crime-buster-by-pauline-hosking/
Over Easter 2016 I was knee-deep in book launches for Cinnamon.The first was at the Nobbies Centre on Phillip Island and included was a fun presentation from Kim Dunstan, the Nature Park’s Education Coordinator, about little penguins. Then two primary school students conducted a Q and A session with me.
The second was at Belgrave Public Library on Saturday 9th April. This one was advertised through Eastern Regional Libraries. It was fully booked (we had people standing at the back) and I sold out of copies of the book! This time we teamed the launch with a breakfast/brunch because one of Cinnamon’s says is: ‘A good breakfast is the best start to a day’. I was interviewed by a student from Mater Christi College who did a great job.
The final launch was at Emerald Secondary College library. The panel interviewing me consisted of a primary student and two Literacy Leaders from the secondary school. The school library bought four copies!
Read Cinnamon’s Blog under Books on this site. You might like to try some of her breakfast recipes too!
You can buy a copy of the book for $17 by going to Payments on this site. Paperbacks available from The Book Depository, Booktopia, Dennis Jones Distribution and good bookstores. An ebook can be downloaded from
Apple (https://itunes.apple.com/au/book/cinnamon-stevens-crime-buster), Amazon and Port Campbell Press (http://portcampbellpress.com.au)
The book is reviewed by:
Magpies Vol.31, Issues No.1, March 2016
I’m interviewed by Sally Odgers on Promote me Please : http://tinyurl.com/PHCSCB
in Buzz Words, Issue 221, April 1st 2016
and by Romi Sharp http://www.justkidslit.com/interviewbytheme-with-pauline-hosking/