I have to say that this was one of my favourite books to write. I loved all the characters, and was able to let my imagination go. And I found the perfect Winnipeg house in which to tell my story and was able to ramble through its rooms and absorb its moods. The photo above is that house.

The Story:

Rachel McCaw isn't easy to fool. Her fifteen years on this planet have taught her things - like never trust anyone. Because the minute you do, that person will be gone - out the door and down the road - the way her mother left "to find herself". And the way her dad is leaving right now, dropping her off at her Great Aunt Irene's in his new 18 wheeler. He's says it is just a temporary measure, but Rachel isn't fooled.

Great Aunt Rachel is hard enough to like, but even worse, she doesn't live alone. She lives in a rambling old house with a group of very old people that Rachel calls The Fossils. Why do The Fossils seem unable to ever leave Rachel alone? It seems as if they are watching her all the time.

Do the Fossils know her secret? Something she has never told anyone?

Rachel hears strange voices. She sees things that aren't there. She always knows when something bad is going to happen. Some people may call these warnings a gift -- a power. Not Rachel. She just wants to be like other kids. But, when she moves in with Great Aunt Irene and is given an attic bedroom, she soon begins to understand the reason for the warnings.

Notable Canadian Young Adult Fiction Book

International Youth Library Notable New English Language YA Book

The Warnings is now available as an e-book. To connect to Kindle and Kobo to order or browse, please click on the "My E-BOOKS" tab on this site. The links beside each book will take you right there!

A window under the stairs

The stairs Luther Dubbles "loves" to fall down just for fun!

A few excerpts from reviews for The Warnings

REVIEW: Buffie creates a wonderful tension between her hard-bitten heroine and the eerie scenes she confronts, while John, the attic inhabiting ghost who gently aids Rachel, is as fully realized a presence as Irene and the other oldsters Simple, satisfying, and mistily spooky. Kirkus

REVIEW: In The Guardian Circle, Buffie delves deep into the world of ghosts and supernatural powers to give her readers a gripping tale about a struggle for power between the forces of good and evil. Children’s Book News

REVIEW: Kids Can Press has another winner. (Buffie’s) new novel, The Guardian Circle, is an excellent blend of spine-chilling mystery and the everyday turmoil of a confused teen. The book is moving, suspenseful and believable. The Windsor Star

REVIEW: The Guardian Circle, (is) a compelling novel for young adults. Ms. Buffie’s writing has the punchy physical writing of the best adult detective novels. In Ms. Buffie’s skilled hands these sections are entirely plausible; characterization is one of her strengths as well. Rachel is a sympathetic character whose wry self-deprecating humour and lack of self-pity make her eminently appealing. The Whig-Standard Magazine

REVIEW: The normal confronts the supernormal in an utterly absorbing way. The Toronto Star

REVIEW: Exciting, mysterious and haunting – in more ways than one – this is a can’t-put-down read from beginning to end. The Hamilton Spectator


I want to thank you for showing me that reading is exciting and thrilling. 5 months ago I didn't like reading (except for Harry Potter books) and I wasn't doing well in LA, but after I read your book "The Warnings" I got more into reading and my writing skills got a lot better, and the words I wrote had depth and meaning. So I want to thank you for writing your books and I encourage you to keep writing more books. A grade six student from Winnipeg.

I recently had the pleasure of reading your novel THE WARNINGS and I enjoyed it very much. It was referred to me by a friend who had read it and raved about it. After reading it myself, I was pleased to come to the same conclusion. My initial attraction to the novel was that it was written by a Canadian and was set in a Canadian environment. It is not so often that Canadian talent and culture is given a platform and you have skillfully managed to represent these things effectively. The relationships developed in this novel really affected me. The strain and the link between the father (and) daughter is something that all can relate to at some point in their lives. The way the father tries to protect his daughter from the inherited power she possesses mirrors how todays parents try to protect their children from the cruelties of society. The instances leading up to Rachel's discovery of her powers, with the relation to the connection with the spirit guardian of the house, sets the premies for the novel's climatic scene, when she is part of the guardian circle and the spirit reveals himself. A Secondary student from Weston, Ontario

I just got done reading your book, THE WARNINGS. I loved it!! I can't wait to read your other books. I justlove those kinds of books. You know, the kind you write with the ghosts and mystery. I was just thinking The Warnings ended with a cliff-hanger, like there should be a sequel to it. It would be so cool if there was one. And if there isn't, I think you should write one. I bet your other books are just as good!!! Jacqueline, from the USA

We, as a family, are fans and admirers of your wonderful books, and have several of them at home. Your beautiful charming books have played an important part in our lives, and we have read them many times. Your writing is beautiful, exciting, imaginative, a joy to read and highly entertaining (also informative). The entire family loves them. Particular favourites are, "Angels Turn Their Backs", "My Mother's Ghost, "The Guardian Circle", and "The Dark Garden". Your books have been a positive influence, are always a pleasure to read, and we eagerly look to any new book by you. Jackie G from Winnipeg 

..I have never been that interested in books until I started reading yours. I thought about many authors (for an author study) I could research, but you were my first choice. The main reason is because many of my friends, family and teachers suggested your books. Although I have only read two of your books, they have been everything people told me and more. I have also recommended your books to others, because I have enjoyed them so much. The three books I've read of yours are THE WATCHER, THE WARNINGS and WHO IS FRANCES RAIN? I read "The Watcher" in about three days. I couldn't put it down until the very last page. Even when I was finished, I kept thinking about the story and the characters, and what might happen next. I read THE WARNINGS in about five days. While I was reading it, I had trouble remembering my own life, and just thought about living in the book. I just started reading "Who is Frances Rain?" and I don't want to stop until I get to the end. My favourite thing about your books are the characters. They are so real, and yet they still have a supernatural twist. I can't wait until I get to start another of your books ... Thank you for writing such wonderful books for me and so many other people to enjoy. Sam from BC

I retired from teaching this past June and our little school closed its doors due to declining enrolments. I taught there for 20 yrs and during my first year, my class won a contest where The Guardian Circle was one of the prizes. From 1989/90 until my retirement I read this book to every one of my classes and it always ranked as one of their favourites....so much fun to read aloud and play with the voices of the characters - even read sections in the gym by candle light most years. I was at an in-service sometime in the early 90's and attended one of your sessions ... asked you if you would mind signing my copy of the book and you graciously agreed. The book is now tattered and well used but is one of the treasures I brought home with me from the school. Hope one day to read it again to my grandchildren. Just thought you should know.

Through the years we also read Frances Rain, My Mother's Ghost and Dark Garden. The kids enjoyed them all, but Guardian Circle was our absolute favourite. Several times during "I Love to Read" month, we covered one section of our hallway with paper -- as a reading graffiti wall and, always somewhere on it, were featured student drawings of Guardian Circle's colourful characters.... especially the Dubbles and some of the other "fossils"... and comments like "Margaret Buffie writes great books". As I mentioned in my first email, our school is now closed but I'm certain that if any of our grads from the last couple of decades were asked about Guardian Circle, it would bring back some great memories. All the best, Bruce

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