Dancing on the Edge

Title: Dancing on the Edge
Published by: Chatwin Books
Release Date: December 20, 2017
ISBN13: 978-1633980389
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A young adult novel of loss, healing, and adventure

Twelve year-old Dot is spunky and full of zest for life, but after her mother’s sudden and senseless death, she finds herself dancing on the edge…of everything. With all familiar anchors swept away, Dot is propelled with her offbeat aunt on an international voyage of curiosity...and maybe even time travel.

With a little help from Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, and other trailblazing ladies of literature, Dot’s trip to England becomes anything but predictable. Pack your bags for a memorable, powerful journey into life in the wake of profound loss, as our young heroine discovers the meaning of her past, and of her mother’s greatest gift to her.


“With complex characters and eloquent prose, it’s an absorbing story of a girl’s surprising path through her grief.”
Publishers Weekly

“A wonderful and endearing story about the power of books and travel to heal us.”
Jim Lynch, national best-selling author

“This is a banquet table of a book, filled with real and imagined heroes, would-be friends, irritating family, cherished memories, new experiences and leaps through time.”
Lynn Wiley Grant


This is the sort of book I enjoy reading—I would have liked it as a kid, and I like it as an adult. It was fun to write about travel and adventure from the perspective of a sullen, reluctant, and grieving 12 year old. Adding in a salute to some of my favorite women in history is like frosting on the cake. Plus there’s a little humor, and a healthy reminder that we all make mistakes, that the world is a little dangerous, and that taking a risk and doing the right thing makes you feel good about yourself.

I hope you find as much pleasure in reading it as I found in writing it.


“Time to pack. We leave in an hour.”Aunt Tab spoke from her full and imposing height to curled-up
Dot on her Tinkerbell rug.

“No,” said Dot, as defiantly as possible for a person lying on a rug. “I'm not going.”

“Yes, you are. Thea wants us to.”

“You can’t talk with Mom.”

“You’d be surprised.” It sounded like a threat.

After more back and forth like this, which got nowhere, Aunt Tab creaked down, fork-lifted
Dot to a standing position and didn’t let go. Being upright, Dot could see a brand new suitcase open
on her bed. She also noticed that all her clothing drawers were pulled open.

Read full excerpt