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Lurlene McDaniel

Meghan Green and Jon Lancaster

“I write the kind of books I write because I want to help kids understand that nobody gets to pick what life dishes out to them. What you do get to choose is how you respond to what life gives you. No matter what happens, life is a gift. And always worth living.”—Lurlene McDaniel

Lurlene McDaniel is a recipient of the RITA Award and several of her works have received the IRA–CBC Children’s Choice Award.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Everyone loves a good cry, and no one delivers heartwrenching stories better than Lurlene McDaniel.

But there’s more to her books than that. McDaniel has written over 40 novels about kids who face life-threatening illnesses, who sometimes do not survive. These are powerful, inspirational stories about courage, love, and strength in the face of overwhelming trauma. McDaniel’s books touch the hearts and spirits of the teenagers and adults who read them. Her following is a devoted group of appreciative fans. McDaniel says: “These are books that challenge you and make you think.”

Some readers—and their parents—have wondered why McDaniel chooses to write about sad situations. “I tell them that sometimes tragedy hits people—kids, too. They want answers. They want to know ‘why.’ By using novels, I show ordinary kids confronting and overcoming great odds.” McDaniel’s books are ultimately optimistic and life-affirming. 

McDaniel began writing about young adults when her son Sean was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of 3. His illness changed the lives of everyone in her family forever. “I saw what life was like for someone who was chronically ill, and I experienced how it affected the dynamics of the family,” says McDaniel. She says she found that writing about the trauma and its effects was therapeutic.

To make certain that her books are medically accurate, McDaniel conducts extensive research. She interviews health care professionals and works with appropriate medical groups and hospice organizations, as well as the Tennessee Organ Donor Services. “I study medicine and traditional grief therapy techniques to give the novels a sense of serious medical reality,” she says. “I also study the Bible to instill the human element—the values and ethics often overlooked by the coldness of technology.”

Growing up, McDaniel lived in different parts of the country because her father was in the Navy. Eventually her family settled in Florida. She attended the University of South Florida in Tampa, where she earned a B.A. in English. She now lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

In addition to her popular YA novels, McDaniel has written radio and television scripts, promotional and advertising copy, and a magazine column. She is a frequent speaker at schools, writers’ conferences, and conventions.

McDaniel’s books have been named to several bestseller lists, including Publishers Weekly. Three of her novels were
selected by children as IRA–CBC Children’s Choices: Somewhere Between Life and Death, Too Young to Die, and Goodbye Doesn’t Mean Forever. Six Months to Live has been placed in a literary time capsule at the Library of Congress, to be opened in the year 2089.

The One Last Wish books focus on the interconnected stories of the residents and counselors of Jenny House—a group home for critically and terminally ill young girls. Through the kindness of a secret benefactor, each girl receives a cashier’s check for $100,000, to be used to make her last wish come true. Every One Last Wish novel is a compassionate story of triumph and inspiration that makes McDaniel’s dedicated fans come back for more.

McDaniel’s works include To Live Again, one of the Dawn Rochelle books; Angel of Mercy, the companion to Angel of Hope; and How Do I Love Thee, three stories about young couples who are inspired by Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s beautiful sonnet. In her novel, Telling Christina Goodbye, McDaniel shows that everything can change in the blink of an eye.


PRAISE

ANGELS WATCHING OVER ME
“An interesting blend of romance, mystery, and problem novel. The characters are captivating and sensitively drawn and the plot is fast paced.”—School Library Journal

DON’T DIE, MY LOVE
“Touching scenes abound in this crisis novel. . . . Fans of tear-jerker teen romances will enjoy this offering.”—Booklist

I’LL BE SEEING YOU
“A satisfying story for those who like to take their romance with tears and gutsy characters who know what it means to live beyond the pale of ‘normal.’ ”—School Library Journal

SAVING JESSICA
“Readers of McDaniel will enjoy; it’s good to read positive stories about teens.”—VOYA

SHE DIED TOO YOUNG
“McDaniel has a way of getting you to look at the complicated emotions experienced by YAs with major medical problems. . . . Another winner in her One Last Wish series.”—KLIATT

STARRY, STARRY NIGHT
“[The stories] are absorbing, the characters are well developed, and the author does not resolve the girls’ dilemmas with pat solutions. . . . This has solid YA appeal.”—School Library Journal

TOO YOUNG TO DIE and GOODBYE DOESN’T MEAN FOREVER
“These companion novels . . . cast the events of high school into a meaningful perspective and allow for convincing character development. McDaniel’s writing is light and well suited to this refreshing and involving story.”—Publishers Weekly


Author Bookshelf

All the Days of Her Life

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Out of control - that's how Lacey Duval feels in almost every aspect of her life. There's nothing she can do about her parents divorce, there's nothing she can do about the death of her young friend, there's nothing she...

Always and Forever

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Sixteen-year-old Melissa Austin has always worked hard to get what she wants. As the school year begins, her work is paying off: Her grades are up and she’s landed a coveted spot on the Brain Bowl team. She and her...

Angel of Hope

By: Lurlene McDaniel

When Heather Barlow returns from Africa, the joy she felt during her missionary trip fades.  She's still suffering from unresolved grief over the death of her friend Ian, and now that she's back home in the United...


Angel of Mercy

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Heather Barlow has always been idealistic, and now that she has finished high school, she's ready to make a difference in the world. After graduation, she joins a mission group on a hospital mercy ship sailing to Africa....

Angels in Pink: Holly's Story

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Pink Angels and best friends Holly, Raina, and Kathleen have been through a lot over the past year. The summer before their senior year promises to be busy but fun, as Holly and Raina return to their full-time volunteer...

Angels in Pink: Kathleen's Story

By: Lurlene McDaniel

It’s the summer after sophomore year and Raina has convinced her best friends since the sixth grade, Kathleen and Holly, to spend their summer as “pink angels” in Parker-Sloan General Hospital’s...


Angels in Pink: Raina's Story

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Raina is happy and relieved that her friends Kathleen and Holly found volunteering at the hospital rewarding. They loved their summers at the hospital so much they will be working for credit during their junior year.

Raina...

Angels Watching Over Me

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Happy Holidays!  Bah humbug.  "Happy" is not the way Leah Lewis-Hall would describe herself at the moment.  She's spending her twelve days of Christmas in an Indianapolis hospital, while...

A Rose for Melinda

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Told in letters, journal entries, e-mails, doctors’ reports, and instant messages, the heartbreaking story of an aspiring ballet dancer battling leukemia.

From: Melinda Skye
To: Readers
Subject: Jesse

Hi! I can’t...






A Season for Goodbye

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Together again. It's been a year since Katie O'Roark, Chelsea James, and Lacey Duval shared a special summer at Jenny House. The girls have each spent the year struggling to fit into the world of the healthy. Now they're...

As Long as We Both Shall Live

By: Lurlene McDaniel

A change is coming, April Lancaster’s fortune cookie reads. Be prepared. But how could she be prepared for the news that she has an inoperable brain tumor? April’s life will never be the same. Then she meets handsome...

A Time to Die

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Sixteen-year-old Kara Fischer has cystic fibrosis  and only months to live. But the close-knit bond  she develops with Vince, who also has the disease,  helps her come to terms with her...


Baby Alicia Is Dying

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Desi thinks it's totally unfair that innocent baby Alicia was born HIV positive. Now the eight-month-old Alicia lives at Childcare because she was given away by her sick teenage mother. Desi can relate to feeling unloved. Her parents give her all...

Breathless

By: Lurlene McDaniel

What is the toughest request anyone can be asked to fulfill?

Travis Morrison is a champion diver and one of the most popular kids at school. On the first day of summer vacation, while boating on the lake with his friends,...

Briana's Gift

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Thirteen-year-old Casey's mother always said that Casey's sixteen-year-old sister marched to the beat of a different drummer. But it isn't until Briana runs away with an older boy that Casey begins to understand what her...


Don't Die, My Love

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Julie Ellis and Luke Muldenhower have always been school sweethearts. Now both are in high school and deeply in love. Luke, a talented football player, is almost certain to receive an athletic scholarship...

For Better, For Worse, Forever

By: Lurlene McDaniel

In this companion to Till Death Do Us Part, grief-stricken April Lancaster is devastated by the loss of Mark Gianni, and she and her parents have gone to the island of St.  Croix for an extended vacation.  One...

Garden of Angels

By: Lurlene McDaniel

It is 1974 and the country is still struggling to come to terms with the Vietnam War. In the small town of Conners, Georgia, Darcy has just started high school, her older sister Adel goes to weekend dances at the...


Goodbye Doesn't Mean Forever

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Jory Delaney has always had lots of money. But there's one thing she knows she cannot buy--and that's her best friend Melissa's life. Although Melissa's leukemia is in remission, it's hard for both girls to hold on to the possibility...

Hit and Run

By: Lurlene McDaniel

If no one meant for it to happen, should someone be guilty?Analise: She knows the roads and feels secure riding her bike.Laurie: When asked out by Quin, Laurie is happy. Then his car hits something. Later,...

How Do I Love Thee

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Though written more than a century ago, Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s beautiful sonnet rings true today for three young couples who believe in the power of love.
...


I'll Be Seeing You

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Carley Mattea never expected to become friends with a boy as handsome as Kyle Westin--especially not in the hospital. Seventeen-year-old Kyle was blinded when a chemistry experiment exploded. His doctors don't know...

Heart to Heart

By: Lurlene McDaniel

From Lurlene McDaniel, the bestselling author of young adult inspirational fiction, comes Heart to Heart. This emotionally charged novel explores loss, love, renewal, and the ways in which these complex bonds within families and between friends...

Journey of Hope

By: Lurlene McDaniel

HEATHER BARLOW HAS always been idealistic, and now that she has finished high school, she’s ready to make a difference in the world. After graduation she joins a mission group on a hospital mercy ship sailing to Africa.

Praise for Angel...


Let Him Live

By: Lurlene McDaniel

A candy striper helps a 17-year-old boy deal with his uncertain future as he awaits a liver transplant. Together, they use his "One Last Wish" money to build a center for terminally ill kids.


From...


Letting Go of Lisa

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Nathan Malone has been homeschooled his whole life. He’s never spent much time with kids his own age and he’s never dated. His mother is now busy with his new twin sisters, so Nathan must enroll at the local high school...

Lifted Up by Angels

By: Lurlene McDaniel

The companion to the Publishers Weekly bestseller Angels Watching Over Me.

This inspirational novel follows the story of Leah and her friendship with the Amish family she met while hospitalized for cancer treatment.  When...


Reaching Through Time: Three Novellas

By: Lurlene McDaniel

What's Happened to Me?
     Sarah finds herself in a strange place, and she can recall only one thing—her name. A young man, Heath de Charon, explains to Sarah that he found her unconscious on the grounds of...

Mother, Help Me Live

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Sarah McGreggor has leukemia and needs a bone  marrow transplant. It is at this critical moment that  Sarah learns she was adopted. When the "One  Last Wish" check arrives,...

Mourning Song

By: Lurlene McDaniel

You don't know me, but I know about you.... I  can't make you live longer, I can't stop you from  hurting. But I can give you one wish, as someone did  for me.



It's been months since  Dani...




Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Sometimes Carrie Blake feels she just can't stand  life's problems or pain. At fifteen, she's had  leukemia for three years, and although the disease is  in remission, she's never sure when things might  change....

One Last Wish: Three Novels

By: Lurlene McDaniel

You don't know me, but I know about you.... I can't make you live longer, I can stop you form hurting. But I can give you one wish, as someone did for me.
Three letters. Three last wishes.
In Mother, Help Me Live,...

Red Heart Tattoo

By: Lurlene McDaniel

At 7:45 a.m. on the day before Thanksgiving break, a bomb goes off at Edison High. Nine people die instantly. Fifteen are critically injured. Twenty-two suffer less severe injuries. And one is blinded. Those who...


Please Don't Die

By: Lurlene McDaniel

When Katie O'Roark receives an invitation from the One Last Wish Foundation to spend the summer at Jenny House, she eagerly says yes. Katie is ever grateful to the anonymous "JWC," the person who gave her the gift that allowed her to receive...

Prey

By: Lurlene McDaniel

A teacher is supposed to impart a love of learning and a thirst for knowledge. It’s a bit different with Ms. Lori Settles. All the kids are talking about how hot she is–and she is especially interested...

Reach for Tomorrow

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Katie O'Roark is thrilled to learn that Jenny House is being rebuilt. After the fire last year, Katie thought she could never return to the camp, where she spent the summers with teens like her who faced medical odds stacked...


Saving Jessica

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Jessica McMillian and Jeremy Travino are a perfect couple.   But now Jessica has been diagnosed as having kidney failure.   She is on dialysis three days a week and is so depressed that she's not...

She Died Too Young

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Chelsea James and Katie O'Roark met at Jenny House and spent a wonderful summer together.



Now Chelsea and her mother are staying with Katie as Chelsea awaits news concerning a heart transplant. While waiting for a...



Sixteen and Dying

By: Lurlene McDaniel

You don't know me, but I know about you....

  I can't make you live longer. I can't stop you  from hurting. But I can give you one wish, as  someone did for me.

It's hard for Anne...




Someone Dies, Someone Lives

By: Lurlene McDaniel

You don't know me, nut I know about you. . . . I  can't make you live longer, I can't stop you from  hurting. But I can give you one wish, as someone  did for me.



Katie O'Roark feels  miserable,...



Somewhere Between Life and Death

By: Lurlene McDaniel

The celebration isn't supposed to end in tragedy. The night of their high-school drama group's cast party starts out as fun for sisters Amy and Erin.
Their lives come crashing down when Amy takes the car to get more...

Starry, Starry Night

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Remember the true meaning of the holidays with three touching novellas from best-selling author Lurlene McDaniel.

In the opening novella, "Christmas Child," 15-year-old Melanie is just...


Telling Christina Goodbye

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Trisha Thompson and her best friend Christina are having a great senior year. Trisha and her boyfriend, Cody, are making plans to attend Indiana University together in the fall, while Christina has already received...

The Angels Trilogy

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Leah is not happy about being stuck in the hospital for the holidays while her mother is thousands of miles away on a honeymoon with husband number five. Until she meets her hospital roommate, Rebekah, and her big...

The End of Forever

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Somewhere Between Life and DeathThe celebration isn't supposed to end in tragedy. But the lives of sisters Amy and Erin come crashing down when Amy takes the car and has a horrible accident.Time to Let...


The Girl Death Left Behind

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Readers will be touched and inspired by this latest novel from bestselling author Lurlene McDaniel:

Beth's world has been torn apart.  She cannot figure out how to go on when a car accident claims...

The Legacy: Making Wishes Come True

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Who is JWC and how was the One Last Wish Foundation created? Discover the tragic story behind a struggle for survival against impossible odds. Follow the interwining story of true love and friendships that compelled JWC to dedicate...

The Time Capsule

By: Lurlene McDaniel

In first grade, twins Alexis and Adam wrote down what they wanted to be when they grew up and put it in their teacher’s time capsule. Now entering their senior year in high school, they are surprised to find out what...


Till Death Do Us Part

By: Lurlene McDaniel

The doctor's diagnosis for April Lancaster is not good. April has a brain tumor which cannot be operated on. She's only 18, and her future is uncertain. But when she meets Mark Gianni, a 21-year-old with a passion for car racing,...

Time to Let Go

By: Lurlene McDaniel

The doctors assure Erin Bennett and her parents that they can't find a physical cause for her headaches. But the throbbing, violent pain is so intense that Erin knows she needs help. Even landing the lead in the senior musical opposite...

To Live Again

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Dawn Rochelle looks like any other 17year-old girt, but looks can be deceiving. At the age of 13, Dawn was diagnosed with leukemia. Now almost five years into remission, Dawn's a senior in high school...


Until Angels Close My Eyes

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Be sure to read this summer's highly anticipated companion to Angels Watching Over Me and Lifted Up by Angels:

Until Angels Close My Eyes

When Neil, Leah's warm and loving step-father, reveals that his...



When Happily Ever After Ends

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Fifteen-year-old Shannon Campbell knew her father had been troubled since he served in the Vietnam War, but his violent suicide still shocks her. Shannon always shared so much with her father--why wasn't her love...

True Love: Three Novels

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Love, romance, and friendship abound in this three-in-one omnibus edition of Lurlene McDaniel's bestselling inspirational young adult novels, all of which explore the timeless question "Can love survive, now and forever?" I'll...


Keep Me in Your Heart

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Three of Lurlene McDaniel's bestselling novels in one volume. Readers will relate to the compassion and strength of the characters as they piece their lives back together after tragedy strikes.

Letting Go of Lisa
Nathan Malone has been...


The Year of Luminous Love

By: Lurlene McDaniel

   In the vein of Eat, Pray, Love, but for teens, this inspirational novel is set against the backdrop of Tennessee horse country as well as the historic cities of Italy and the Italian...

The Year of Chasing Dreams

By: Lurlene McDaniel

In the vein of Eat, Pray, Love, this YA novel intertwines a family saga with a grand love story and is the companion to The Year of Luminous Love and Wishes and Dreams. For fans of Sarah Dessen's The Moon and More and Ann...


Wishes and Dreams

By: Lurlene McDaniel

This heartfelt digital original short story by Lurlene McDaniel features many of the same characters connected to her poignant contemporary novels The Year of Luminous Love and The Year of Chasing Dreams.
 
When...