Satin Shoes

a children's book by Loreena Lee

Synopsis

In the spring of 1952, twelve-year-old Leanne and her family arrive in a logging town in north central BC. After several unexplainable "visits" and the discovery of an old pair of satin shoes, Leanne discovers that the house they have moved into is haunted by its former owner, Eliza. Leanne befriends a crusty old neighbor named Dixie, who, she learns, encountered a spirit for the first time when she survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. In Dixie, Leanne finds a confidante with whom to share her ghost tales, and together they try to help Eliza cross over.

Accomplished artist-turned-author, Loreena M. Lee, delights young adult readers with a poetic tale of mystery and adventure in her debut novel, Satin Shoes. Her detailed drawings add to the book's charm.

Review

Leanne's family has moved–again. Before this mature, chore-burdened twelve-year-old has time to fret about starting a new school and making new friends, she realizes that her new house is haunted by the spirit of its former occupant. Leanne befriends Dixie, a childless, middle-aged neighbour. What she lacks in education, Dixie makes up for in life smarts and personality. In this colourful character, Leanne finds the affection so lacking in her relationship with her mother.

– Mary Ellen Reid, Creative Writing Instructor

Excerpt

"These are magic shoes," she told Kate. "If I was to put them on, I'd turn into a beautiful princess and be whisked away to a wonderful palace, where there'd be dancing and a zillion candles and lots of servants, and . . .and . . . lots of stuff." Her baby sister agreed by grabbing one of the shoes and chewing on the toe.

"Hey, stop that." Leanne took the shoe away from the baby and wiped off the moisture with the edge of her sweater. Examining it for tooth marks, she took them back to her dresser, out of reach. As she put them down, she glanced at the little mirror on the wall and froze. Behind her stood a woman, about her own height, dressed in a pale blue blouse with a high neck, and long dark skirt, her hair drawn tightly back from her face. She stood, smiling slightly, hands folded in front of her.

Leanne stood staring at the apparition. Prickles of fear crawled up the back of her neck like icy spiders and she suppressed a shudder. Finally, she managed a wobbly smile, feeling as if the woman would speak to her if she just remained still.

"Leanne", her mother called from the kitchen. "Come set the table for dinner." Leanne jumped, startled, and turned away from the mirror to look behind her. There was no one in the room except her baby sister.

"Young readers will be charmed by this tale of childhood challenges, family and friendship... Loreena Lee is both writer and artist."
– Ed Griffin

About the Author

Loreena M. Lee, afca is an established artist, has instructed beginning artists for over 40 years and has exhibited her work since 1973. Her work hangs in corporations and private collections in Canada, as well as Hungary, Germany, Denmark and the United States.

Her first novel, "Satin Shoes", was published by Libros in 2009. She illustrated the children's book, "Dragons I Know", published by Ryan Publication in 2009.

Her cookbook, "Kitchen Tales," was issued in 2010.

As well as a biography entitled, "The Gabor Sisters of Smoky Lake", she has published two art text books, "Drawing, the Theory of Relativity", and "The Shapemakers Guide to Composition", and has produced two training videos, "Finding Negative Space", and "Sea and Snow, Techniques in Watercolor".

Memberships include the Federation of BC Writers and the Langley Writers Guild. She is a signature member of the Federation of Canadian Artists.

Currently, she's working on her third novel and her memoirs.

Praise

"Written from the heart, Loreena M. Lee's Satin Shoes should delight nostalgic adults with its evocation of a time gone by, and intrigue younger readers with 12 year-old Leanne's efforts to adapt to her changing family situation, make new friends, and uncover the story of the spirit who inhabits her new home. "

– Lois Peterson,
author of Meeting Miss 405

"Growing up isn't easy for Leanne. Her father is often absent, and the family moves frequently. Her mother cares physically for her daughter, but has no inkling of how to nurture her girlish soul. So Leanne finds her own allies, two very different women who help her through her coming of age."

– Carol Tulpar, BA, MALS

"Colourful prose and vivid imagination create a timeless tale of adventure between everyday life and the world on the other side."

– Larry Breitkreutz,
author of Journey to Light