Coyote Queen

Before the coyote stuff happened, I would have told you that magic didn’t exist.

Fud and Mom against the world, that’s how it always was.

Until Larry showed up.

Now they live in his trailer—and carefully follow his rules. When Larry comes home with a rusted-out boat he plans to turn into their new home, Fud vows to save them from the floating prison. But with only twenty dollars to her name, that seems as hopeless as untangling her strange connection to a nearby pack of coyotes—a connection that not even her beloved guide to Wyoming wildlife can explain.

When she has the chance to compete for the cash prize in a local beauty pageant, Fud finally sees a way out. And she won’t let anything get in the way of winning.

Not Larry’s fiery temper.
Not Mom’s recent illness.
Not the mean girls at school.
Not a secondhand dress and hand-me-down shoes.
And especially not her new, mysterious abilities that are getting stronger every day.

The Benefits of Being an Octopus meets The Nest in this contemporary middle grade novel with a magical twist about family, class, and resilience.

(And don’t forget to claim your swag below)


Claiming your gifts is simple. You can either:

1. Preorder Coyote Queen directly from Talking Leaves Books in Buffalo, New York to receive a signed copy plus a bookmark and sticker


2. Preorder an unsigned copy anywhere books are sold and fill out the Coyote Queen Grand Prize Entry Form to receive a bookmark, sticker, and signed bookplate.

But that’s not all!

One lucky reader will receive a classroom set (6 paperbacks) of The Wolf’s Curse PLUS an annotated copy of Coyote Queen filled with my personal reflections about this deeply personal story! To enter for the grand prize with either option, you MUST fill out the Grand Prize Entry Form!

I love this book with all my heart, and I’m so excited to share it with all of you – thank you for your support!


“…a tragically familiar tale of abuse is layered onto a raw and multifaceted coming-of-age story…Rich, strange, and winningly intense.” ––Kirkus Starred Review

“The best fictional stories are the ones that cut right to the truth, no matter how deep it’s buried. COYOTE QUEEN is one of those stories. Nuanced and raw, this book throbs with both power and hope. Vitalis has delivered a brilliant story, one that’s clearly straight from her heart — and that’s thankfully now heading to the hearts of readers everywhere.” ––Ann Braden, author of THE BENEFITS OF BEING AN OCTOPUS

“Exquisitely written and painfully real, this is a brave and beautiful book about hard, important things.” –– Megan E. Freeman, award-winning author of ALONE

“An unflinching depiction of domestic violence and poverty interwoven with budding friendships and coyote magic. There are no easy answers, but there is hope. This book lights the way.” ––Jenn Reese, award-winning author of A GAME OF FOX & SQUIRRELS

“The challenges that Fud and her mother endure—some of which are based on Vitalis’s childhood experiences, per an author’s note—are sympathetically wrought, and Fud’s resilience and compassion drive the narrative to a complex yet optimistic resolution.” ––Publishers Weekly

“A memorable story of ferocity, love, desperation–and the bittersweet empowerment of a girl finding her way out of difficulty. Vitalis captures painful truth with a deft touch of fantasy.” ––Kaela Rivera, award-winning author of CECE RIOS AND THE DESERT OF SOULS