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Contact Sandra: sgardner2@hvc.rr.com
Sandra Gardner’s mystery novel, Mother, Murder and Me, was the winner of Swyers Publishing’s First New Author (fiction) Contest 2011, and was published by Swyers in 2012. Gardner is a former contributing writer and columnist for The New York Times and the author of four non-fiction books: Six Who Dared (Simon & Schuster); Street Gangs (Franklin Watts); Teenage Suicide (Simon & Schuster); and Street Gangs in America (Franklin Watts). Street Gangs in America received an award from the National Federation of Press Women. Her poetry collection, Mythmaking, was a winner of the 2003 Word Journal Press Chapbook Contest and was published by Word Press.
Gardner has taught writing for the International Women’s Writing Guild and the Institute of Children’s Literature.

Winner of the 2012 Grassic Short Novel Prize
Halley and Me by Sandra Gardner
Read online Halley and Me

A truly twisted who-dun-it–you don’t know a crime’s been committed until the parties are caught in the act–and not one hint is dropped to the reader of who they are or what they did, until it’s too late: packing a punch for those who don’t want their shock telegraphed. –Dakota Lane, author of Johnny Voodoo

It was so touching. So sad. So heartbreaking for Sara to face all those events in one summer. The writing is delightful. I could picture the characters, the clothing, the setting. A poignant story of an adolescent girl who faces a summer of disillusionment in 1959. –Susan P. Baker, Author My First Murder
In this coming of age novel, family conflicts are revealed through the eyes of a discerning 13-year-old girl, as remembered by her 40-year-old self. Sandra Gardner combines drama, comedy, and tragedy in a riveting tale of friendship, deception, and betrayal. –Judith Lechner, author of The Moon Sings Back

Synopsis of Halley and Me

At Halley’s funeral, Sara, now in her 40s, tries to come to grips with her feelings about her once-beloved cousin. She hasn’t spoken to Halley in 30 years, after a family crisis tore the two apart and caused a death when they were teenagers in small-town Massachusetts.

Back in 1959, Sara was 13 and Halley, 15. The cousins stood together as a positive force against the various permutations of their dysfunctional families. But Halley was becoming a woman and slowly shrugging off the bonds between herself and Sara.

Complex family relationships, involving another cousin and, later, both girls’ fathers, led to the life-altering events at the families’ summer at Three Beaches.

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