A few years ago, I used to be part of a writing organization based just east of Toronto called the Writers’ Community of Durham Region. I let my membership lapse a while ago, but when I was still an active member, I met M-E Girard.

M-E is a pediatric nurse, which is pretty cool. But what’s even cooler is that she’s just released her debut novel, Girl Mans Up with HarperCollins! Here’s the cover copy:

All Pen wants is to be the kind of girl she’s always been. So why does everyone have a problem with it? They think the way she looks and acts means she’s trying to be a boy—that she should quit trying to be something she’s not. If she dresses like a girl, and does what her folks want, it will show respect. If she takes orders and does what her friend Colby wants, it will show her loyalty.

But respect and loyalty, Pen discovers, are empty words. Old-world parents, disintegrating friendships, and strong feelings for other girls drive Pen to see the truth—that in order to be who she truly wants to be, she’ll have to man up.

The book officially gets released tomorrow, but I was lucky enough to attend its Toronto launch last Thursday. So here are some awesome pictures of the whole affair!

It was so good to see M-E again after not having met her in person for nearly 2 years. It’s amazing to know that she’s got an agent, a publisher, and a book, and it felt so special to see her updates throughout the publication process. Plus, her agent even flew in from New York to celebrate with her!

So, yeah, get a copy of Girl Mans Up! Support a friend! If you’re still not convinced, it’s already been getting some great reviews: