Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 13, 2016

Swing Sideways – Book Giveaway & Journey

Congratulations to Laurel Decher – She is the winner of SWING SIDEWAYS!

Please contact me with your address!

Congratulations to Nanci Turner Steveson for her debut book, SWING SIDEWAYS. She has agreed to do a book giveaway, so all you have to do to get in the running for win Nanci’s new book, is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Please make sure you check back on June 27th to discover the winner. Make sure I will be able to find and email for you, too.



Perfect for fans of Bridge to Terabithia and Walk Two Moons, this debut middle grade novel is the story of two girls and the unforgettable summer in which they learn about true friendship and loss.

Annie has been promised a summer of freedom in the country. Freedom from a difficult school year, freedom from her fake “friends” back in the city, and, most of all, freedom from her mom’s life-governing spreadsheets and rigid schedules.

When Annie meets California, who is visiting her grandfather’s farm, it seems she has found the perfect partner for the summer she’s always craved. Especially when California offers Annie a real-life adventure: if she and Annie can find the ponies her mom rode as a girl, surely it will remind her mom how wonderful the farm is—and fix what’s broken between her mom and her grandfather.

But Annie’s summer of freedom is sprinkled with secrets, and everything she has learned about bravery and love will be put to the test when the truth behind the ultimate secret changes her life forever.


When I was a little girl my family lived in England for several years. I was given a 33 rpm record of Vivian Leigh (aka: Scarlett O’Hara) narrating Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny. I grew up in a house full of books and readers, but this recording was my introduction to the beauty of a story. In fact, I loved and played that record so much, my older brother pretended there was an accident and my beautiful record mysteriously got snapped in two.

In school, I couldn’t wait to learn to read and write. See Jane run. See Dick run. Those are the first words I remember reading by myself on a page. Then, at age nine, I read Black Beauty for the first time and everything changed. I have a clear memory of turning that last page and knowing I would be a writer someday. In fact, I sat down right then and wrote my first “novel” which I still have, ivory construction paper stapled at the top, complete with home drawn illustrations and a story about a wild horse named Liberty.

I took a different path to publication than most, and it took me a lot longer to get it done. I wrote stories all the time. In my early twenties I wrote what I thought was a brilliant moving, beautiful story and sent it to my editor brother. It came back with so many red pen marks on it, a less dedicated person would have given up right then and there. But I didn’t. I knew I was supposed to be an author. I knew I was going to write for kids, and there would always be horses or ponies involved.

I was a single Mom from the time my kids were young, so I often worked two or three jobs. But I still wrote, late into the night. In 2000 I quit my “business suit” job to follow my heart and manage a large equestrian center. Seven years later, I left that job because the call to write was so strong and the hours required to manage at huge equestrienne center left me no time, no creative energy to write. I went back to a job I could do with my eyes closed and leave every day at 5:00, fresh and ready to write into the night.

Once I started writing in earnest, I joined SCBWI and attended every single conference I could manage. I had the good fortune to meet Kathy Temean, at that time the RA for the NJ-SCBWI, and through lots of volunteering, I was able to meet and network with many agents and editors I otherwise would not have met. At conferences, I got every critique I could afford and listened carefully to what each editor, agent, or author said to me. I kept writing, and then branched out to retreat and learn through the Highlights Foundation workshops, where I worked under the mentorship of Patty Lee Gauch, Kathi Appelt, Janet Fox, and more wonderful teachers. And I kept reading and writing.

I attended workshops in Austin at The Writing Barn, and hired Bethany Hegedus to work with me one on one. And I listened. I met a friend who would become my long distance critique partner, and I listened.

See the common thread? I read constantly, and I wrote constantly, and I listened. Not all critiques helped me write my story, but they ALL, in some way or another, helped me on my journey.

On January 1, 2011, I finished reading Sharon Creech’s Walk Two Moons, put it down, and Swing Sideways started spilling out of me. It went through many revisions before being ready to submit, but the story is one that I felt so strongly needed to be told.

I met my agent in a very unusual way. He is the founder of Writers House, Al Zuckerman, who has so many Pulitzer Prize winning authors on his client list he was totally off my radar. But, he loved my writing and signed me. In 2014 we sold my first book, Swing Sideways, to Rosemary Brosnan at HarperCollins in a two book contract, and I was placed under the editorial direction of an editor who turned out to be The Perfect Match for me, Andrew Harwell. Swing Sideways launched on May 3 of this year. It has received some stellar reviews from important publications, and was chosen as one of only four books for the HarperCollins School and Library Team New Voices Program. My second book, Georgia Rules, (unrelated to SS), comes out summer 2017, and I am currently working on a third middle grade book in the same literary style as the first two.


blogNanci Turner Steveson

Nanci Turner Steveson writes for middle grade readers and is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She studied under the mentorship of award winning authors Kathi Appelt, Patty Lee Gauch, and Bethany Hegedus.

At home in Wyoming, Nanci is on the Board of Directors of the Jackson Hole Writers Conference, and is the Teen Creative Writing Instructor at the Teton County Library in Jackson Hole. She works as a Stage Manager for Off Square Theatre Company, with her heart tied closest to the annual Youth Musical Production. One of Nanci’s greatest ambitions is to work with kids and inspire them to become two-fisted readers, like herself, and allow their own creativity to soar through the beauty of creative writing.

A life-long horse girl, Nanci lives in a historic meadow cabin in the shadow of the Teton mountains with two horses, two dogs, and an assortment of elk, moose, great gray owls and the occasional black bear who wander down from the national forest outside her back door. After a profound experience in 2009, Nanci is dedicated to getting books into the hands of homeless people, especially in shelters that house children, through her Literacy for Hope Project.

Nanci, it will be so much fun to read your book, after following it all the way to publication. So proud of you.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Enjoyed reading about Nanci’s journey to publication and her love of writing! I admire her tenacity and dedication, and look forward to reading Swing Sideways.


    • Thanks so much for your kind words. I am living proof we can make our dreams come true!


  2. It was wonderful to meet and spend time with Nanci this past March. This post is a KEEPER!


    • Hi! Good to see you here. Hope you get a chance to read Swing Sideways and enjoy some adventures with Annie and California. Take care!


  3. Congratulations Nancy! The book sounds wonderful! I tweeted and shared on FB. Will reblog as well. Good luck with the release. I adore the cover!


    • Hi Darlene, thanks so much! I love the cover, too, and the cover for my book coming next May, GEORGIA RULES, is from the same artist. Hope you get a chance to read Swing Sideways. 🙂


  4. Reblogged this on Darlene Beck-Jacobson and commented:
    This book sounds like a great debut. Looking forward to reading it!


  5. So great to see Nanci here and learn more about her journey. This book has been on my list for awhile, and I’m looking forward to finally spending time with it this summer.


    • Thank you, Kristin! Quite a journey and I hope my story helps give other writers the stamina needed to keep plugging through. Enjoy the read! Nancu


  6. Yes, a long journey but well worth it! Looking forward to reading your debut.


    • Thanks, Greg, would love to hear how you like it when you read it. A wonderful review today talked about how much adults will love the book, too. Take care! Nanci


  7. Great title!


    • Thanks, Natasha. Believe it or not, that was the FIFTH title, but as soon as it came up during one of many revisions, it was clear that was it. Hope you get to enjoy it. Nanci


  8. Loved hearing your path to publication. Congratulations!


    • Thank you! Kathy has known me through much of this journey and was certainly instrumental in my learning, learning, learning. Take care.


  9. Your journey is inspiring. And, I happy to report, your book is at the book store I work at! This info will help me hand sell it.


    • Hi Susan, Lucky you working in a book store! Thanks for keeping an eye out on Annie and California and their beautiful journey. Hope you get a chance to read it, too. Nanci


  10. Congratulations on a brave and long writing journey! This sounds and looks beautiful.


    • Thank you so much. Its a wonderful thing to be able to do something that fills us with such joy. I applaud ALL who stay strong. Happy Reading!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Laurel,

      I don’t have an email for you and you haven’t sent me your address. You were the winner of Swing Sideways. If I do not hear from you, I will put the names back in for someone else to win.



      • Oh my goodness! My e-mail is ldecher AT gmail DOT com. Thanks very much!


  11. The story sounds good and her story of her journey is great. Thanks for sharing both.


    • If I can give one writer courage to keep pushing through, then I will be happy. I hope you get the chance to enjoy Annie and California’s summer full of adventures. 🙂


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