posted in: MG, Young Adult | 0

8 Notesby Cynthia T. Toney


Book 1: 8 Notes to a Nobody


Anonymous sticky-notes, a scheming bully, and a ruined summer send fourteen-year-old Wendy down a trail of secrets and self-discovery.

Wendy Robichaud doesn’t care one bit about being popular like good-looking classmates Tookie and the Sticks—until Brainiac bully John-Monster schemes against her, and someone leaves anonymous sticky-note messages all over school. Even the best friend she always counted on, Jennifer, is hiding something and pulling away. But the Spring Program, abandoned puppies, and high school track team tryouts don’t leave much time to play detective. And the more Wendy discovers about the people around her, the more there is to learn. When secrets and failed dreams kick off the summer after eighth grade, who will be there to support her as high school starts in the fall?

“I can truly see how early teens/preteens could benefit from reading this book, as it covers many realistic struggles that young people face today.”

“A stellar debut novel with a captivating voice by a talented writer.”

“Author Cynthia Toney nails the voice of the fourteen-year-old protagonist. Recommended for middle-schoolers and teens–but this book carries messages for the adult reader as well.”

Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble


10 stepsBook 2: 10 Steps to Girlfriend Status

A Cajun family secret, two very different boys, and a fight to keep a grandmother’s love—who would’ve guessed that looking through old photo albums could get Wendy into so much trouble?

Wendy Robichaud is on schedule to have everything she wants at the start of high school: two loyal best friends, a complete and happy family, and a hunky boyfriend she’s had a crush on since eighth grade—until she and Mrs. Villaturo look at old photo albums together. That’s when Mrs. V sees her dead husband and hints at a 1960s scandal down in Cajun country. Faster than you can say “crawdad,” Wendy digs into the scandal and into trouble. She risks losing boyfriend David by befriending Mrs. V’s hearing-impaired grandson, alienates stepsister Alice by having a boyfriend in the first place, and upsets her friend Gayle without knowing why. Will Wendy be able to prevent Mrs. V from being taken thousands of miles away? And will she lose all the friends she’s fought so hard to gain?

“A Judy Blume for this generation.”

“With refreshing candidness, the author lets us see through Wendy’s eyes as she navigates her first crush, her first heartbreak, her first dealings with mortality, and the difficulties in blending a family and learning about dark family secrets.”

“This is another winner for Cynthia Toney. These are great coming of age stories for young people. So insightful. I wish I had been able to read these books when I was growing up.”

Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Book 3: 6 Dates to Disaster

When Wendy’s stepfather loses his job, the family’s plan to visit Alaska on vacation is headed down the sewer like a hard Louisiana rain. How will Wendy ever see Mrs. V or Sam again?

Help arrives in the form of tutoring Melissa, one of the Sticks, and Wendy’s money problems appear to be solved—until the arrangement takes a turn that gets Wendy into trouble.

And in the final months of ninth grade, she might lose everything she counted on for the future.

“A great book for young teens that gives the reader a lot to think about: family responsibilities; giving tough advice to a friend; making mistakes, owning up to it, and paying the price.”

6 Dates to Disaster allow teens to see the ramifications of the small but important choices they make that affect their relationships – with their parents, siblings, friends, and members of the opposite sex. Add a little Cajun spice, and you have the recipe for a great read.”

Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

CIR: What inspired this series?
TONEY: I’d seen teens struggle with many challenges I hadn’t had to deal with when I was a teen, and I wanted teens to know how deserving of love they are.

CIR: What did you enjoy most about writing this?
TONEY: Demonstrating through my characters’ actions and growth that teens are wonderful and powerful and can choose to make their lives what they want them to be.

CIR: Who is your favorite character, and why?
TONEY: It’s hard to pick only one, because I love all the main characters for different reasons. But in the second book, I grew very close to the deaf teen character, Sam.

CIR: Did this require any research, and what kind?
TONEY: Although I grew up knowing some Cajun families, I had to research some Cajun language and details for Wendy’s father’s side of the family. I’d had close personal experiences with eating disorders and teen suicide but had to do research to clarify some things for the first book. And my mother-in-law was a victim of Alzheimer’s, so I wanted to be sure I accurately portrayed the disease in my second book.

Learn more about Cynthia T. Toney and her writing at