Lockdown has arrived. It is listed in the Fall 2014 magazine Best Books for Kids & Teens, published by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. (p. 27)

Sneak Peek Sunday Blog Hop - Lockdown #SPeekSunday #SneakPeekSunday

Greetings and welcome to my first blog for Sneak Peek Sunday.

Today I am giving you a sneak peek into my YA speculative novel, Lockdown. The theme of this novel is chaos. It looks at how people behave when life is suddenly changed—forever.

A rare great earthquake hits the Pacific Northwest when Rowan Morgan, her brother Michael, and their friend Jake are in the forest. They find their way back to the suburban streets as aftershocks continue to shake the earth:

The dark-shirted man hit the ground. The woman curved her body over her baby’s. Michael, Jake, and I dived for the sidewalk and covered our heads. I couldn’t stop myself from peeking out from the crook of my arm. The house in front of me shimmied in a violent voodoo jig. The last of the glass in the front windows splattered across the lawn. I covered my ears and hoped it wasn’t another big one. How long would it go on?

An explosion on the other side of the street made me lift my head again. The house by the live power line burst into flames. In front of me the woman with the baby wailed loudly. The man crawled over to her side. Somewhere a dog howled. Oliver? No. The tone was too deep. People screamed. Goosebumps ripped up and down my arms.

When the tremor ended, the sidewalk had a six-foot trench in the middle of it.

Jake took one look and erupted in loud, nervous laughter. He sat and hugged his knees to his chest. Then he threw back his head and laughed louder.

Suddenly I was laughing too. People might be dying I reminded myself. Why am I laughing? But I couldn’t stop. Jake and I laughed until we were breathless and tears ran down our faces.

Michael lay flat on his back with his eyes closed. He had bitten his bottom lip and blood dripped down his chin.

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Are you feeling a bit like a lunatic?

Last night a super-moon shone in the night sky, so brilliant you could read a book by it. A super-moon looks huge because it is closer to earth than ever. It is a perigee moon.


Lockdown happens on a hot August day, much like the summer we are having now in the Pacific Northwest. At the start of the novel there is a rare great earthquake that alters life forever for Rowan Morgan.

The theme of the novel is chaos: how do people behave when their lives are changed dramatically and forever?

Stephen Hawking said that intelligence is the ability to adapt to change. Ivan Urlaub added to that by saying wisdom is knowing why or how to adapt for more than personal or economic gain.

Some people think a full moon influences our behaviour. This is called the lunar effect. If the earthquake had happened during a super-moon, would the characters have acted differently?

Do any characters in Lockdown show that they can adapt for the new order of things? Who adapts for personal gain and who adapts to help others?



Lockdown is being released this month (April 2014) by Great Plains Publishing. Please order it either directly from the publisher or ask for it at your neighbourhood bookshop. 

If you prefer to borrow rather than buy, please ask for it at your local library branch.

Synopsis: When a great earthquake rocks the Pacific Northwest, fifteen-year-old Rowan Morgan is hiking in a suburban forest. Tremors rip the coast from Oregon to Alaska and turn Rowan’s world upside down. After her father is wounded and taken to the hospital, Rowan and her brother shelter inside his earthquake-proof, survivalist home. While the electrified fences offer some protection, it isn’t long before mobs gather, desperate for some of the food and water rumoured to be held inside.

Rowan knows that if the hungry neighbours had any true idea of the riches in her father’s cellar and water tanks, they wouldn’t be sent away so easily. Early one morning, Rowan leaves the compound and sets off in search of her father. She is turned away from the hospital and so goes to check on nearby friends where she finds a local gang has moved in. She escapes from them only to run into a stranger she met in the forest the day before. Why is he following her and what does he want?

Lockdown explores the chaos that follows a natural disaster and looks at how people react when tnormal social boundaries are shaken.