A Swift Current author's first-ever book has made the shortlist for the 2022 Saskatchewan Book Awards.

Adventures on the Circle Star Ranch by Jackie Cameron was announced as one of the five finalists for the G. Murray and Edna Forbes Foundation Children's Award on April 1.

"It was totally a surprise, I never thought it would happen," she said humbly on Monday afternoon. "My publisher (Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing) sent the book to the book award people."

The novel idea came to the former teacher-librarian of 25 years while her career was winding down.

"When I would go out to visit schools, I realized that there are not a lot of books that tell about the lifestyle kids here would be living, especially on ranches," she said. 

She began putting the ink to paper on the 60-page paperback shortly after retiring in 2014 from the Chinook School Division. It was sent out for publishing in 2020 and by 2021 it was available for purchase locally and online.

"[It's about] a nine-year-old boy Ben and his sister doing various activities that they would have on a ranch," she explained. "They would involve little adventures. At the same time, these things were happening... Cattle are going missing...And in the end, it's Ben and his sister that solve the mystery. As a spoiler, there are cattle rustlers."

Shortly after the book was released last year, Cameron remembers reading in the news about a cattle rustling case near the Saskatchewan and Alberta border.

The Sask Book Awards will be held online on June 23, when Cameron will learn if she's won the award that also comes with a $2,000 prize.

Anyone looking to purchase the book in Swift Current can visit The Sputtergotch Toy Company, Cowtown, and Pharmasave. Or online at Indigo and Sask Books.