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Success for High School Senior's Debut Novel

Jasmine Johnson and her mother, Tanya, jumped up and down in their Elmsford house excitedly, screaming, with giant smiles on their faces. Jasmine, an Alexander Hamilton High School senior, had published her debut novel and had just received the first copy in the mail.

"It was amazing," said Jasmine. "I always knew I would be an author, but I never knew I could do it so soon. It was really mind-blowing."

Now the first and only published author at her school, the book, " Sibling Secrets ," explores the world of step-siblings who are in a relationship. It delves into the children's bond and the connection between their parents. As a self-published book, Jasmine saved the money by working at Greenburgh's Joyce Leslie clothing store.

"I didn't know she'd be an author," said mother Tanya, a long-time art teacher. "But I knew she'd be an artist of some sort. She got the genes from me."

Jasmine's talent bloomed at age 8 when she wrote "Hurricane," a story about a turbulent sleepover where the girls survived through several natural disasters.

" Sibling Secrets " nearly sold out at a Barnes and Noble book signing in the Crossroads Shopping Center on April 21, as readers bought 80 of the 90 available copies.

"It's overwhelming, but in a good way," said Jasmine. "It's been a good trip and it's still going."

Jasmine is currently working on a sequel to "Sibling Secrets" that could be in stores by mid-2012. She is also writing a new novel entitled "My Sin is Lust." In the fall, she will attend Westchester Community College to get her Associate's degree in visual arts before exploring her options for her Bachelor's and Master's.

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