Tuesday, August 17, 2021


For years, readers and booksellers have suggested that I write a "tween" novel and I'm so proud to announce that I've finally done just that. It's called SAVING THE DELANEY SISTERS (IT'S GONNA TAKE A MIRACLE). I'm putting the finishing touches on it now and, hopefully, my agent will find an editor who falls in love with these two little girls as deeply as I have.

Here's a little something about the story, which is set in 1961 in Wisconsin:

In the vein of The Thing About Jellyfish and Wolf Hollow . . . Saving the Delaney Sisters is a profoundly moving upper middle grade story about what it means to be poor, different, coping with grief, the unbreakable bond of sisterhood, and discovering that when you’re down and out and have nowhere else to turn something miraculous could happen that could change everything.

 Almost twelve-year-old Theodora "Teddy" Delaney has her work cut out for her. Not only is she attempting to come to grips with the devastating loss and guilt she feels after witnessing her father's death, her mother is certain that they’re going to end up in the poor house, and her kid sister, Birdie, refuses to believe that their beloved dad is gone forever. If Teddy can't convince Birdie before their mother gets wind of how much "weirder" her sister is getting, she's terrified that their Mom might have Birdie committed to the county insane asylum.

Teddy made a promise to her Dad to keep her sister safe and she wouldn’t break it if her life depended on it. But she is not going it alone. She has her Magic Eight Ball for guidance, her "fiancĂ©” Fritz Lee for moral support, a cemetery caretaker on her side, and she's come up with what she believes to be an excellent plan to convince her sister that their dad really, really, really is gone forever. But with her evil buttinski neighbor, Gladys Sladky, watching her every move, the neighborhood "homicidal maniac, Whitey Johnson, threatening to cut her into little pieces, and her Mom falling apart, Teddy has to face the fact that it's going to take a lot more than smarts and a little luck to save her sister. “It’s gonna take a miracle.” 

Heartbreaking, funny, insightful, and uplifting, Saving the Delaney Sisters will have you cheering for Teddy from the first page to the last as she discovers that love never dies, and that sometimes, when you think you’re saving someone else, you end up saving yourself.


Fingers crossed! 

With hugs!


Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Another Wonderful Review for EVERY NOW AND THEN

 What a wonderful birthday present!  A coveted starred review from Publishers Weekly!

"Kagen (The Undertaking of Tess) skillfully spins a nostalgic tale about a group of preteens who uncover their town’s terrible secret. As headstrong 11-year-olds in tiny Summit, Wis., Elizabeth “Biz” Buchanan, Frances “Frankie” Maniachi, and Vivian “Viv” Cleary spend the sultry summer of 1960 looking for adventure and trying to stay in the good graces of Biz’s Aunt Jane May, who has helped Biz’s physician father raise Biz after her mother died shortly after Biz was born. In addition to speculating about Jane May’s romantic prospects and the meddling of a busybody out to depose Summit’s elderly mayor, the girls agree on a dare to explore their town’s creepy mental hospital, Broadhurst, home to the criminally insane (including a notorious child-killer). In between harmless preteen pranks and innocent explorations, the girls enjoy an idyllic summer—until their fascination with Broadhurst as a “Chamber of Horrors” turns into a nightmare. Kagan perfectly portrays the sense of invincibility felt by the young girls, whose lives have not yet been touched by tragedy. Colorful secondary characters, especially Mayor Bud, underpin a taut plot. This fast-paced and suspenseful outing will captivate Kagan’s fans and do much to win her new ones. (Oct.)"

It won't be long now until Every Now and Then will available at your local bookstore. This story is so near and dear to my heart and I can't wait for you to read it!

Tuesday, June 30, 2020



Just three more months until EVERY NOW AND THEN comes to a bookstore near you! (Oct. 6th.)

I'd love to say that time is just flying by, but it took me three years to write this book and another year until it was published and I can't wait for you to read it.

Sometimes readers ask me where my inspiration comes from. For this book, stumbling upon a secret little cemetery in a stand of secret little woods while I was out hiking knocked my socks off. The three almost twelve-year-old girls in the story---Biz, Frankie, and Viv---spend a lot of time on a path that wends its way through "Founder's Woods" during the summer of '60.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Some Really Kind Words

I'm thrilled and humbled by these kind words about EVERY NOW AND THEN from authors I admire and respect. Hope you'll love the story, too!

Every Now and Then is a perfect summer sky of a story, in which lots of lovely blue is mixed with a few dark, descending clouds. Lesley Kagen offers a wry, winning story told in the enchanting voice of adolescence and with the pitch perfect vernacular of 1960. Filled with secrets, lies, and all the truth of what is to be human, especially in a small town, Every Now and Then is a story every heart will embrace.”
—William Kent Krueger, New York Times bestselling author of Ordinary Grace and This Tender Land

“With a grace reminiscent of Pat Conroy’s The Prince of Tides, Lesley Kagen paints a tragic and evocative picture of a childhood summer disrupted by tragedy in 1960s Wisconsin. Every Now and Then, a haunting story of three young friends besieged by unthinkable horror, is both a memorable coming of age tale and a suspenseful page-turner. Longtime and new fans of Lesley Kagen will delight!
          Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris

 “Lesley Kagen’s Every Now and Then ticks all the best boxes. Bygone small-town life so well described you can taste it? Check! Three BFF girlfriends scraping knees and taking names and having the summer of their eleven-year-old lives? Check! Compelling escapades featuring the likes of mental institutions, escaped murderers, and witches? Check! This novel is delightful and the perfect summer read.” 
                          Laurie FrankelNew York Times bestselling author of This Is How It Always Is

“Kagen’s trademark blend of childhood curiosity and hidden mysteries shines in this richly imagined coming-of-age adventure. In the sweltering summer heat of 1960, three young friends become entangled in secrets and life-threatening evil that shakes their small Wisconsin town to its core and impacts their lives forever.”
                        Beth HoffmanNew York Times bestselling author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

"Part mystery, part coming of age, EVERY NOW AND THEN brought back wonderful memories of my childhood, when the summers were endless and my best friend and I found ourselves in the middle of numerous bizarre adventures. A rollicking good read!” 
Ellen Marie Wiseman, bestselling author of WHAT SHE LEFT BEHIND and THE ORPHAN COLLECTOR   

Lesley Kagen’s Every Now and Then is a poignant, beautifully told story about family, friendship, and foul-play in a small town in Wisconsin in 1960. It centers around Biz, Viv, and Frankie—three eleven-year-old best friends—and the summer adventures that will change their lives forever. With characters that leap off the page, mysteries both innocent and evil, multi-layered humor, and twists you never see coming, this novel is delightful and unputdownable. I can’t recommend enough!
                                                                —Jane Healey, bestselling author of The Beantown Girls

"At turns nostalgic, haunting and edge-of-your-seat suspenseful, Every Now and Then is another triumph from Lesley Kagen.”
                           —Wendy Webb, #1 Amazon Charts bestselling author of Daughters of the Lake

Thursday, January 30, 2020


So happy to let you know that EVERY NOW AND THEN is available now for preorder! Check with you local indie bookseller or all the usual places online! Thank you!

Thursday, December 12, 2019


Hi All!

Busy preparing for Christmas and I've taken on teaching a Master Class in acting in a children's theatre as well as teaching writing and helping with my two g-kids so busy . . . busy . . . busy! But had to share that you can expect to have EVERY NOW AND THEN in your hands in October 2020.

Very excited! I love this story and hope like heck that you do, too!

xo Lesley

Friday, April 19, 2019


Thrilled to announce that my newest novel, EVERY NOW AND THEN, will be published by Crooked Lane. Hopefully, it will be released in the summer of '20, but stay tuned for updates!