September 14, 2018

The Leaving Year Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway

The Leaving Year
Author: Pam McGaffin
Release Date: August 14, 2018
Publisher: SparkPress


A coming-of-age YA novel about the daughter of a Pacific Northwest fisherman, whose presumed drowning in 1967 has her searching for answers, including whether or not he’s really dead.

As the Summer of Love comes to an end, 15-year-old Ida Petrovich waits for a father who never comes home. While commercial fishing in Alaska, he is lost at sea, but with no body and no wreckage, Ida and her mother are forced to accept a “presumed” death that tests their already strained relationship. While still in shock over the loss of her father, Ida overhears an adult conversation that shatters everything she thought she knew about him. This prompts her to set out on a search for the truth that takes her from her Washington State hometown to Southeast Alaska, where she works at a salmon cannery, develops love for a Filipino classmate, and befriends a Native Alaskan girl. In this wild, rugged place, she also begins to understand the physical and emotional bonds that took her father north and why he kept them secret—a journey of discovery that ultimately brings her family together and helps them heal. Insightful and heartfelt, The Leaving Year is a tale of love and loyalty, family and friendship, and the stories we tell ourselves in our search for meaning.


“If you're looking to add a heartwarming read to your Summer #TBR pile, The Leaving Year will be your go-to read.” ―PopSugar

"A charming, emotional story about family, fishing, and self-discovery.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“An atmospheric and richly layered coming-of-age novel with a protagonist to root for and a page-turning mystery. Family secrets, first love, a quest for truth, and a character who heals and expands her worldview through a journey to Alaska; what more can you ask for? I loved this thoughtful and uplifting story.” ―Kristin Bartley Lenz, award-winning author of The Art of Holding On and Letting Go

“Ida Petrovich, wise and brave beyond her years, takes us on an incredible journey as she seeks the truth about her father’s disappearance. Rich in period details of the 1960’s, and set against the spectacular backdrop of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, The Leaving Year, is a lovely story of youth, sorrow, and personal growth. Truly a Young Adult must-read.” ―Anne Leigh Parrish, author of The Amendment

"In Pam McGaffin’s exceptional debut, emotion bubbles right below the surface and weaves an addictive tale of mystery and forgiveness as Ida’s search for a missing father takes her on a remarkable journey to find herself." ―Jan Von Schleh, author of But Not Forever

"Pam McGaffin weaves a heartbreaking tale of loss and finding your way back. This coming-of-age tale is not to be missed." ―Lish McBride, award-winning author of the Necromancer and Firebug young-adult books

"The Leaving Year takes the reader to a time and a place that is not only singular, but beautifully familiar. Author Pam McGaffin has written a powerful story of loss and its unknowns, rife with grief and confusion, and weaves it into an empowering journey of self-discovery and promise." ―Emily Russin, writer and editor

“Pam McGaffin has crafted a coming-of-age novel that starts and ends in the fishing communities of Puget Sound, but whose landscape of imagination is really Alaska. The grandeur of the land and largeness of spirit that shapes our image of the forty-ninth state is echoed in the families that fight and feel their way through this story of caring, loss, and the price of self-awareness.” ―Steve Lindbeck, former CEO of Alaska Public Media and director of the Alaska Humanities Forum

You can purchase The Leaving Year: A Novel at the following Retailers:

I lose at rock-paper-scissors, so I have to ride in the bed of the truck on the way out to the haunted house, but the weather is so mild, I don’t mind. Sitting against the back of the cab between Uncle Pat’s crab pots, it stinks, but I’m mostly out of the wind. As we roll down the highway, I’m reminded of the view from the stern of the Lady Rose and that strange sensation of going backwards while you’re going forwards. Mom, of course, would die if she knew I was back here rattling around with the crabbing gear. That just adds to the thrill of watching the pavement unspool before me.

Copyright © 2018 by Pam McGaffin 

Ten Ways you Get Inspired to Write
1. walks
2. hot baths
3. strong coffee
4. dark chocolate
5. Timed writing
6. Free writing (no editors allowed!)
7. Reading great writers
8. Imitating great writers
9. Eavesdropping and people watching
10. no-distraction getaways to Guemes Island
Pam McGaffin is an award-winning former journalist who returned to her original passion of writing fiction after a long career in newspapers and public relations. Her short stories have appeared in online literary journals, and her articles and essays have been featured in newspapers and magazines. She and her family live in Seattle. This is her first novel.

Author Links:
TWITTER: @PamMcGaffin
(3) Winners will receive a Signed Copy of THE LEAVING YEAR: A NOVEL by Pam McGaffin.

Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter


  1. My most treasured memory is the birth of my daughter.

  2. My most treasured moment was when I married my husband.