Guest Post at Book Travels

If you missed my guest post – here is the link and a copy of the post :

Rae of Hope Promo Button

I’ve read Rae of Hope last week and I have to say W. J. May did a really good job. So today I’ll leave you guys with her guest post and my review of the book. Have fun!


HJ or Bust …

For some high school is the end all, be all – the days of glory. For others it is the stepping stone of experience to get you into university. And yet for some others, it is a dark, dingy place that requires four years of our time – kind of like a prison sentence with no chance of parole.


High school for me wasn’t my glory days, but it does hold some of the best moments of my life. I never thought of it as a stepping stone, but looking back on it now it definitely help mould and shape my choice for where I attended university and what I’ve become. One thing for sure, it never felt like a prison sentence – unless waiting for class to finish at the end of the day counts.


I loved learning – I still do. I loved sports – still do as well. In high school I stumbled upon a sport which no one in a million years would have thought I’d go anywhere with. BUT (and this is the great thing about hind-sight: we have 20-20 vision), even as a little kid I acted hyper, springy and always bouncing around. I’m not tall, I maxed out on height in grade nine, growing a final centimeter and settling in at 1.70m (aka 5’7”). Technically it’s not short, and on the normal female average it is on the taller side. Except when it comes to high jump. I’m short. Shorter than everyone.


In tenth grade, as in ninth grade, I played any and every sport team I could. That spring, I needed to pick my three events to compete in for track and field. I knew for sure I wanted to be a sprinter (shoot, who didn’t? and if I could sprint 200m then I could definitely do running long jump). However I couldn’t decide on a third event. I was leaning towards the 100m but thank goodness I had a keen coach with a talented eye (thanks Coach Otte – kudos to you still!). He encouraged me to compete in high jump.


In the city I’m from, there are 5 meets that lead you to provincials (equivalent to state in the USA). The 5 track meets included: Districts, Zones, Sossa, Regionals and then Ofsaa. I qualified in LJ and the 200m – winning both in the first two meets. I came second or third in the high jump but still qualified to move onto the next meet. At Sossa, I actually won the high jump. I beat the kids who had been beating me and also the other schools in Southern Ontario. The crazy, blonde kid who sat of the high jump bar instead of arching set a PB (aka personal best, aka PR, aka personal record, aka top jump I promise to stop with the aka’s now Alegre) It wasn’t anything super spectacular or a mind-blowing height… somewhere about 1.65m (about 5’5”)



Surprise, surprise the little hyper kid had a tiny bit of ups. I for sure didn’t know it. My coach did, but I had no clue. Small school, remember? The day of Regionals, my coach drove me up to the meet (I was the only one who’d qualified from our school) and my jaw nearly hit the ground. It was overwhelming to see the uniforms and tights, and amount of kids in Toronto competing. These kids belonged to track clubs and were serious. They warmed up and all this stuff. I wanted to be like them, but didn’t stand a chance.


Or so I thought. I made the finals in the 200m and placed a lovely 8th (there are only eight lanes on a track if you need the mental picture for that race). However, in the morning, I’d come third or fourth in the long jump and qualified for Ofssa! By the hair of my chinny-chin-chin. I did the same in the hj.


First kid in my school – and I was going to Ofsaa! Of course the year I make it, the meet is an 8hr drive away. The school couldn’t afford to pay and so my parents offered to take me. We drove the big long drive and had no idea what we were getting into. Little did I know (or my parents) that a meet like Ofsaa – considered second or third biggest track meets in North American – would be SO busy! No one suggested that we might need to book a hotel in advance or avoid eating in restaurants unless you didn’t mind waiting for hours.


It didn’t matter. We settled on the Orphan Annie truck stop – a single bed room with my parents on the mattress and me on the floor. Don’t even go there, I try to block out that memory. The meet was two days – Friday and Saturday.


The Friday night I competed in the long jump and after 3 jumps, was in the top eight so I qualified for another three attempts. I improved and ended up with a ribbon finish. I don’t remember the jump’s distance or the ribbon – only that it was a royal bluish-purple colour. Im thinking fourth or fifth. I. Was. Extactic!! A ribbon finish!


The next day, we headed to the track early to watch all the events. It was a scorcher of a day but I didn’t care – this was my new found love. The high jump was in the afternoon and anyone who knows sports knows they don’t spend an entire day getting burned and then try to compete in an event.


Who cares? I didn’t. I had that far off dream of maybe, just maybe getting a medal. Maybe a personal best… maybe a ribbon… maybe anything.


We warmed up and where all these ‘professional’ girls were marking approached and curve marks, etc… I just stood around watching. The competition started around 1.40m (sorry but Im imperially challenged at the lower heights of HJ). It went up by 5cm until 1.60m. I started jumping at the get-go, not passing any heights as I was too nervous. My PB was 1.67m from previous meets. I made 1.60m, 1.63, 1.66m, 1.69m!! I couldn’t believe it – I’d made a personal best and in jump 1.69m I’d secured a MEDAL!!

Pack your bags and head home, I was ready to go!!


The bar moved up to a now completely unknown territory. I’d tried to jump 1.69m at other meets and always missed all three attempts. This 1.72m was foreign – and high! 2cm over my head.


I missed the first attempt and so did the only other gal left in the competition. I jumped first, with her having the advantage of knowing if I’d cleared the bar or knocked it down. Second attempt – I knew I was excited so I moved my approach back a bit so I could run faster and not be too close to the bar. I ran, I leaned, drove my right knee up and closed my eyes. Bam! Hit the mat and the bar stayed up! I’d cleared 1.72m or 5’8”.


The other competitor took her attempt and was close … close but a miss. I chewed my nails waiting and watching her take her third and final attempt. If she made it, we’d both move up to 1.75m. Back when I first started jumping, I was the kid that before the official had finished calling my name, I’d run and jumped. I never waited, never took my breath or my time… but this final attempt by my competitor would be my undoing. She put her warm up pants on. Sat down on her little towel. Took a drink of water. Stood. Sat back down to take her pants off (had spandex shorts on underneath). Walked (and I mean WALKED to her measured approach. Visualized. Focussed. Just jump girl, please!! And finally, took her approach then her take-off and sailed. Well, nearly sailed as her head and shoulders got over the bar but her torso didn’t.


It took a moment to register. I’d won. I’d really, really won. Ofssa. We were ushered to the little podium and given our medals. Mine was a thick red ribbon with a gold medal. I couldn’t stop smiling. Orphan Annie had nothin’ on me!



Now fast forward and press play two years and a bit later. Seventeen now, a weathered veteran in the sport of high jump. Competing locally, provincially, nationally and internationally. I’d just graduated high school and competing at a provincial track club meet. I’d become the kids I’d envied but that feeling, the moment from Ofssa never left. I was competing in the last meet of the summer – hoping for another little gold medal… maybe, just maybe, a little something to write my name down and someday other kids could remember me. I jumped 1.92m that day – 6’3 ½” inches – smashing the Canadian Junior record of 1.88m (6’2”) set some 8 years before. I was number two in the world for juniors (19 + under) that year.


That record still stands – next year it will be 20 years ago.


And for the record: See! I told you it feels like just yesterday and then I start doing the math and it is forever ago! Alegre


I retired from high jump the year before my first child was born. I have a trunk full of medals, and ribbons, and posters, and uniforms, etc… that I’ve kept to one day show my kids. What I’m really hoping for… that I can show them my name on the record wall – that silly Canadian Junior Record still standing at the crazy, 22cm over my head!!


Thanks for letting my stop by and stroll down memory lane. I feel like putting on my high jump spikes and seeing where they take me Alegre

Rae of Hope


Rae of Hope by W. J. May

e-ARC provided by author for the book tour
The Chronicles of Kerrigan #1
Publisher: Mitchell Morris Publishing, Inc
Format: ebook
ISBN: 9780983129790
Genre: Young Adult  Release date: November 14th 2011       Number of pages: 248 Add it:

Book Blurb:

How hard do you have to shake a family tree to find out the truth of the past?       
Fifteen-year-old Rae Kerrigan has never questioned her family’s history. That is until she accepted a scholarship to Guilder Boarding School in England. Guilder is a very unique, gifted school.      
Rae has no idea what she is getting herself into or that her family’s past is going to come back and taunt her. She learns she is part of an unparalleled group of individuals who become marked with a unique tattoo (tatù) on their sixteenth birthday. The tatù enables them to have supernatural powers particular to the shape of their marking.      
Both her parents were marked though Rae never knew, as they passed away when she was young and never told her. Learning about her family’s past, her evil father and sacrificial mother, Rae needs to decide if there is a ray of hope for her own life.

My Thoughts:

If you guys don’t know yet I love books centered in magic and this one was a perfect catch. A girl finding her powers after being accepted for a school that she never applied. Sounds familiar? I thought of Harry Potter too when I first read the summary and that made me want to read Rae’s story.


There’s a huge difference between Rae and Harry. She’s smart and fight to discover things of her past and why nothing makes sense toward her parents live. Her acceptance in the school is at first really easy, and everyone try to make her happy and be her friends, but we can also see that Rae doesn’t trust in all the pretty faces around and oh boy, she was right.


As the book tell us, Rae’s parents story and we try to see what tatù she was going to have. I felt connect with her character and bravery, plus she had to struggle to accept this new and very much different life. So it was really fun to read this YA book.


I loved her tatù and her final battle was really awesome. I just hope once her power start to grow, she realize that her choices not always will make everyone happy.

Books in this Series:

#1 – Rae of Hope

#2 – Untitled




About the Author


Wanita May grew up in the fruit belt of Ontario – St.Catharines.  Crazy-happy childhood, she always has had a vivid imagination and loads of energy.


The youngest of six — four older brothers, and sister — they taught her at a young age to be competitive in all aspects of life.


At sixteen, she began competing in athletics (track and field) and before she turned seventeen, she was representing Canada in high jump.  She continued to compete, breaking Canada’s JR High Jump record (1.92m – 6′ 3 1/2″ for those metric-ly challenged).  She attented University of Toronto, and Kansas State University – graduating with a BS degree in Kinesiology and beginning her Masters in Business.


She is currently married, and the mother of three adorable kids.


After her father passed away in 2009, from a six-year battle with cancer (which she still believes he won the fight against), she began to write again.  A passion she’d loved for years, but realized life was too short to keep putting it off.


Her first book, Rae of Hope – from the Chronicles of Kerrigan – is available Nov 15, 2001 by Mitchell Morris Publishing.  It is contracted as a four book series and available in print and ebook through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords and other online sites.


She is currently represented by Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency. Wanita is a writer of Young Adult, Fantasy Fiction and where ever else her little muses take her.



Author website:




~ by wanitajump on May 8, 2012.

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