Friday, October 16, 2020

Interview with Vanessa Jones, Author of the YA novel Sing like No One's Listening

I've got a fun author interview today. I asked Vanessa some questions about her new book, Sing like No One's Listening.

The Book-


Nettie Delaney has just been accepted into a prestigious performing arts school—the very same school her superstar mother attended. With her mother’s shadow hanging over her, Nettie has her work cut out for her— and everyone is watching. To make matters worse, Nettie hasn’t been able to sing a single note since her mother died. But if she’s going to survive a demanding first year, Nettie will have to work through her grief and deliver a showstopper. Or face expulsion.

As Nettie makes new friendships, navigates a budding crush, and struggles with overcoming her fear of singing, she auditions for the school’s next musical, only to find that the lead role alongside her love interest has been given to someone else. But then the musical lead blackmails Nettie into singing her parts for her while hidden under the stage. Will Nettie be able to summon the courage to find her voice? Or will all the pressure and anxiety of performing come crashing down?

The Author-

VANESSA JONES trained at Laine Theatre Arts in Surrey, England and went on to be a musical theater actor on West End, performing in shows including Sister Act, Grease, Guys and Dolls, Annie Get Your Gun, and Mary Poppins. She began her writing career with a stage play for a fringe theater and works as a freelance copywriter and editor. She lives in England with her fellow chimney sweep.


The Interview-

 Q&A--Vanessa Jones

What brought you to the world of writing from acting?

I always wanted to write, ever since I was little. I was an obsessive reader, with “a different book on the go in every room”, as my family would joke! But theatre was always my other passion, and when it was time to choose which path to take at college, it was clear to me that performing had to come first, mainly because there would always be a time limit to a dance career and it was better to train at a younger age. So, I went to train at a Performing Arts school, and from there became a performer in the West End. It was so all-consuming that I didn’t write for several years. When I eventually came back to writing, it was like I had discovered my love for it all over again. To start with, I was juggling writing with working in theatre, grabbing moments backstage with a notebook or laptop, but as time went on and I had my children, it became clear to me that writing was where my heart now was, and I took a step back from performing to concentrate on being an author.


What made you want to write a book about singing? 

For me, singing is so intrinsically linked with who I am as a person; it’s woven into my personality, my body. It’s such a deeply intimate thing to share a song with an audience, and I was interested in the idea of what happens when the fear gets in the way and you can’t do that any more. For my main character, Nettie, this is what happens. She has an emotional (and very physical) shock at her audition for a prestigious performing arts college she’s always dreamed of going to; consequently, something happens to her voice and she can’t sing. For her, it’s all wrapped up in the grief she feels for her mother, and her recovery as a singer is heavily dependent on dealing with her feelings of loss.


Do you have an example in your life that inspired you to face your fear just like Nettie does?

I went through a period in my career as a performer when I suddenly developed this huge and terrifying stage fright. Every time I would go into an audition, my heart would start racing, my whole body would shake and my voice would cut out. It got so bad that it started affecting my ability to get work. I never really got to the bottom of why the fear had developed; I think possibly it was because I’d recently  played a small part in a West End musical which had received quite a lot of fuss, and from then on I started to get seen for leading roles, when before I had always been the understudy. Maybe I got in my head about that. The stage fright got so bad that I went to see a hypnotherapist in the end, and I can clearly remember her taking me through the session and thinking how silly it was. I was convinced that it would never work. But the day after, I had two major auditions, and despite thinking that the hypnotherapy had been a waste of time, I sailed into the studio without a care in the world. No shakes, no dry mouth. I ended up being offered both parts. So, I guess it did work!

I think that any creative work you put out there is scary. It leaves you vulnerable, open to criticism. It’s the same with writing. What if people don’t like my work? What if it’s bad? But when I feel the fear, I remind myself that the other option is not to continue creating, and that spurs me on.

What do you think a youth should take away from your book after reading?

It sounds corny, but the older I get the more I know this is true: believe in yourself. Trust in your talent and your abilities and remember that you have something unique to offer the world, even when things get tough. I hope that’s what people take from the book.

What are your future writing plans?

I’m currently editing the sequel, Dance Like No One’s Watching, for the UK publication. I’m also writing a historical fiction novel, and a new YA love story. And another idea keeps prodding at my brain, so I’ll probably have to start that, too!

Buy it Now!-

Friday, October 9, 2020

Author Q&A with Rebecca Elliott, Pretty Funny for a Girl

I've got a special YA author interview today! Rebecca Elliott, author of Pretty Funny for a Girl. 

The Book-

Pretty Funny For a Girl (October 2020; ISBN: 978-1-68263-147-8; Hardcover $17.99; Ages 12+) 
Stand-up comedy meets teen romance in this hilarious novel about family, friends, and fierce mistakes.

Haylah Swinton is an ace best friend, a loving daughter, and an incredibly patient sister to a four-year-old brother. Best of all, she’s pretty confident she’s mastered making light of every situation—from her mom’s new boyfriend to unsolicited remarks on her plus-size figure. Haylah’s learning to embrace all of her curvy parts, and besides, she has a secret: one day, she’ll be a stand-up comedian star. But she’s pretty sure girls like her don’t belong on stage.

When impossibly cool and undeniably good-looking Leo reveals he’s also into comedy, Haylah jumps at the offer to ghostwrite his sets. But is Leo interested in returning the favor? And is Haylah too head-over-heels to notice? If Haylah’s ever going to step into the spotlight, she’ll need to find the confidence to put herself out there, strut like the boss she really is, and prove to everyone that she’s more than just funny “for a girl.”

The Author-

REBECCA ELLIOTT is an author and illustrator of many picture books and The Owl Diaries early chapter book series. Pretty Funny for a Girl is her first YA novel. She earned a degree in philosophy and once did a brief stint in a dull office. Now, she enjoys eating angel delight, loudly venting on a drum kit, and spending time in her sunny garden. She lives in England with her family, some chickens, and a cat named Bernard.


The Interview-

Author Q&A with Rebecca Elliott

What brought you into the world of YA?

I’ve been writing and illustrating picture books for many years but it had always been my ambition to write a YA book, and I finally got around to it with Pretty Funny for a Girl.

I’m a huge fan of YA and find those teenage years the most fascinating.  Although it was a long (LONG) time ago, that period of my life still feels so vivid to me; it’s such a high stakes time in your life where every day has the potential to be life-changing. I have the greatest respect for teenagers, which is why I like writing about them so much. It’s such an exciting yet bat-crap crazy time in your life. In just a few years you go from snotty kid to a fully-formed person, it’s insane!

You’re suddenly making your own decisions, forming your own opinions, molding your own future, choosing what kind of person you want to be, falling in love for the first time, and all the while battling cruel expectations from the world and the media, not to mention the raging hormone battle within. I tell you, teenagers are frickin’ heroes.

Unlike writing for the under 10s, I love the freedom that writing a full-length novel gives you; the need to be super concise isn’t there anymore and you can really be yourself and take a thought for a walk, which I love. On the other hand, unlike a shorter book, there comes a point with a novel when you can’t go back and re-read what you’ve already written every time you write another chapter and it all becomes a bit unwieldy, like trying to run with wobbly jelly in your hands that just keeps getting bigger. But you have to trust that as long as you don’t drop it, it will hold together and keep its shape and that it will all be worthwhile in the end, cos who doesn’t enjoy a massive plate of jelly (ok so it’s *possible* I might have taken the jelly analogy a bit too far, what were we talking about again?)


What should youth know about loving the body they're in?

Whilst, as with most of us, my protagonist Haylah will always struggle a little with her body confidence, I think she’d also say that one of the coolest realisations as a feminist is that there is no right or wrong way for a girl to look, to dress, to act. So be you—big, small, loud, shy, “feminine,” “masculine,” high-heeled and preened, DM-wearing and pierced, and anything and everything in between and outside, it’s ALL GOOD, and it’s all beautiful. We are sold, particularly on social media, the ridiculous and unobtainable ideal of “perfection,” whereas the message should, of course, and particularly in respect to teenagers already bombarded by judgement and pressure, be that YOU ARE PERFECT REGARDLESS. By getting on stage and being the girl she is, nothing more, nothing less, Haylah isn’t proving that she thinks herself perfect, but that she’s happy in her own skin. As Sophia Bush so eloquently put it, “You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress, simultaneously.”

I very much didn’t want the body image thing to be the central theme of the book. So often when plus-sized female characters are the main protagonist of books and movies, their weight is the major factor, the main narrative hook to hang everything else from. But guess what—when you are bigger that usually isn’t the main thrust of your own narrative  (and I certainly never wanted to lead her towards some “happy” ending when she loses the weight and all is well with her world—like thin people have it all sorted too!).

Yes Haylah feels that she’s big and at times wrestles with the way that makes people perceive her, but for the most part she’s quite happy with herself and what she thinks about way more than the way she looks is her ambitions to do something amazing—become a stand-up comic. I only wish that the way we look, particularly for teenagers, could take a back seat to the way more important stuff like our passions and ambitions.

So I hope one of the central themes of the books is, screw the haters, screw the ridiculous expectations of society and social media, the only opinion of you that matters is your own opinion. So be whoever the hell you want to be and be proud—shoulders back, tits out and go show the world who you really are. 


Do you have a secret passion for comedy? If so, who is your favorite comedian?

As a teen I was utterly obsessed with comedy and comedians (I would never have had the courage that Haylah does to so stand-up comedy), but I did spend hours writing comedy sketches and harboured secret dreams of becoming a sketch comedian!  It’s probably super shallow but to me there has always been nothing more impressive than making a funny.

As for my favourite comedian, oh blimey, where to start?? As a teenager the UK comedians French and Saunders and Victoria Wood were my absolute idols. I *love* watching live stand-up, it’s so different to seeing it on a screen and I've recently been lucky enough to see awesome stand-up comics Sindhu Vee, Susan Calman and Hannah Gadsby. Hannah Gadsby in particular I think has changed the landscape of stand-up—she manages to deal with huge issues like sexism, homophobia, and disability in a warm yet cutting, and utterly hilarious way. I urge everyone to go watch her shows Nanette and Douglas on Netflix NOW!

I also of course love the big-hitters who aren’t afraid to honestly, and often down-right disgustingly, make comedy about real life from a women’s perspective—people like Amy Schumer, Melissa McCarthy, Margaret Cho, Sarah Silverman, Ali Wong, Rebel Wilson, and Wanda Sykes.

Sophie Hagen and Sophie Duker are also exciting me right now (although maybe I just have a thing for the name "Sophie?”). Oh and I *have* to mention my best friend, stand-up comedian Kirsty Hudson with whom I do a weekly podcast (“Don’t Laugh But”). I have to mention her because otherwise she’ll kill me. Or at least take the p*** out of me in one of her next routines. Also, TBH, the woman makes me pee myself laughing on most days.


What was your road to publication like?

Every stage of my career in books over the last 18 years, from illustrating to writing picture books to landing a YA book deal, has been hard work and involved a lot (and I mean a LOT!) of rejection. But hey, there’s little satisfaction in doing something easily! And luckily you learn way more from your failures than your successes. Having worked on picture books and early readers (like Owl Diaries) for years, deciding to follow my ambitions to write a YA novel was like completely changing careers and starting from scratch. I spent four years on a YA book, which didn’t get me a publishing deal but was good enough to get me a new literary agent, and Penguin Random House UK luckily saw enough potential in my work to ask what else I had on the go. I had nothing! Just one idea which was simply “14 year plus-size girl known as ‘Pig’ wants to be a stand-up comedian;” the publisher thought it sounded great so instead of the years spent on the previous book I wrote this in around three months (then edited it for another six months until I eventually got the deal with Penguin), and then Peachtree US read it and wanted to publish it in the States which is A. Mazing. Literally a dream-come-true. I’m sure there will be a many more failures and rejections in my future career, but if I learned anything it’s that if you have a dream, don’t let anything put you off and you’ll get there, or maybe even somewhere better but unexpected in the end.


Any future writing plans?

I’ve written the sequel to Pretty Funny for a Girl called Pretty Rude for a Girl and am currently starting work on a possible third which is super exciting. As you write about characters you kind of fall in love with them and they come alive in your head, so it’s amazing to be given the opportunity to carry on their stories. Also LOTS more Owl Diaries and Unicorn Diaries! I always have lots of other ideas bubbling around in my head too which I’m always desperate to have the time to take for a walk but we’ll see if I get the time!

Buy it Now-

Monday, September 21, 2020

Becoming RBG, Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Journey to Justice by Debbie Levy

 In honor of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I am reviewing a middle-grade novel devoted to her life, Becoming RBG, Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Journey to Justice by Debbie Levy.

The Book- 


Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a modern feminist icon—a leader in the fight for equal treatment of girls and women in society and the workplace. She blazed trails to the peaks of the male-centric worlds of education and law, where women had rarely risen before.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has often said that true and lasting change in society and law is accomplished slowly, one step at a time. This is how she has evolved, too. Step by step, the shy little girl became a child who questioned unfairness, who became a student who persisted despite obstacles, who became an advocate who resisted injustice, who became a judge who revered the rule of law, who became…RBG (Simon & Schuster).



My Thoughts-


This book is written as a graphic novel and is very easy to read. I found myself speeding through it, and inhaling all of the information. It starts with RBG's birth and documents injustices that she noticed while growing up. She was influenced by her mom Celia, who wanted Ruth to go to college and become independent. When she decided to go to law school, there were very few women lawyers and she had to prove herself. The story continues on as she becomes a Supreme Court Justice, and then spotlights several laws that she was influential in passing. 

All the basics of this book are spot-on, but I was sad to see prejudice on behalf of the author. Most of the pictures of men in the book have quote bubbles that make them look stupid, outside of her husband. For example, in school, all the girls listen enraptured to Ruth while the boy looks bored and his thought bubble says, "Too brainy for me!" (42). Also, the author lets her own philosophy spill over as she describes events that took place during RBG's life. I'd point the bias out to my child before they read so that they can have a clear viewpoint. Overall, if you take out the author's bias, all the information about RBG is engaging and really worth the read. Young girls will find a hero who fought against the injustices of race and sex. Her life was amazing, inspirational, and worth reading about. 4 stars!

Buy it Now-

AMAZON


 

Monday, August 31, 2020

New Sporty MG- Jayla Jumps In by Joy Jones

I've got a great book today! Did you do jump rope or double dutch in school? I know I did. Here is a new release by Joy Jones entitled Jalya Jumps In. I  hope you enjoy meeting the author and learning more about her book. It goes on sale tomorrow, Sept. 1.

The Book-
When eleven-year-old Jayla finds out that her mother used to be a Double Dutch champion, she’s stunned. Her mom, who’s on doctor’s orders to lower her blood pressure, could move like that?!? Jayla decides to follow in her mom’s footsteps, thinking that maybe double Dutch can make her stand out in her big, quirky family. As she puts together a team at school and prepares to compete, Jayla finds that Double Dutch is about a lot more than jumping rope―and it just might change her life in ways she never imagined. Full of hilarious family dynamics and plenty of jump rope action, Jayla Jumps In follows one girl's quest to get her mom healthy and find her place in her community.

The Author- Joy Jones
At the age of 63, I, a black woman, got sent to Russia - to jump double Dutch. What? Well, I started a double Dutch team for adults and in 2018, DC Retro Jumpers was invited to be cultural ambassadors abroad. Now double Dutch has taken me on a new journey. I’m pleased to announce my first novel for kids. JAYLA JUMPS IN (Albert Whitman & Co.) is about - can you guess? - a girl who starts a double Dutch team.

Joy Jones is a trainer, performance poet, playwright and author of several books including Private Lessons: A Book of Meditations for Teachers; Tambourine Moon, which was selected as one of the best books for children by the black caucus of the ALA and featured on the Bernie Mac Show; and Fearless Public Speaking. She has won awards for her writing from the D. C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities, and the Colonial Players Promising Playwrights Competition, plus awards from both the D. C. Department of Recreation & Parks and the D. C. Commission on National & Community Service for outstanding community service.

Joy Jone’s provocative op-ed on marriage trends for The Washington Post, “Marriage is for White People”, went viral. She is the director of the arts organization, The Spoken Word, and the founder of the Double Dutch team, DC Retro Jumpers, which has led exhibitions and classes throughout metropolitan Washington and abroad. Joy often leads workshops on creative writing, communications, and black history.

The Interview-
1. I would love to hear about your Double Dutch experience and traveling to Russia!

I think God has a sense of humor. I started DC Retro Jumpers in 2004. By 2017, some of the sparkle had gone out of double Dutch for me. I still enjoyed it, of course, and got together with my team members to do demos from time to time, but anything you do for over ten years gets a bit tiresome. Then in October of 2017, the Washington Post did a feature story about the group. It was noted by a woman who organizes cultural exchanges of artists to other countries. Double Dutch appealed to her because it’s inexpensive, requires little equipment, is extremely portable and easy to learn. She called and asked me if I would like to be a cultural ambassador.  All of a sudden, my enthusiasm was renewed.

One year later, we were in Russia!

We visited three cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Belgorod, a small town in southern Russia. Our first exhibition was at the US Embassy in Moscow. We started the evening off in cocktail dresses, then changed into T-shirts and sneakers to jump rope. There was a Russian jump rope exhibition team who also performed; four young and fit men and women. They did some impressive acrobatic moves. That wasn’t us. The DC Retro Jumpers team members who went to Russia are all over fifty years old and our moves are pretty basic. But what makes us unique is we make the audience the star of the show. After doing our stunts, we invite the audience to jump. Five minutes of instruction - and middle-aged women who had never learned how, grandmothers who hadn’t jumped since they were girls, boys who want to get in on the action, and men who want to take up the challenge discovered they can do it, too. If you have feet, we can get you in the rope.

Russia and the United States are not exactly BFFs. War & Peace. Boris & Natasha. Accusations of interference in the presidential election. These were my primary reference points. These associations led me to have a pretty grim and dim expectation of the country. But Russia was lively and colorful. Encountering the wonderfully unexpected became the expectation. Despite its recent Communist past, Russia has a long religious tradition. There were many ancient churches with their distinctive onion domes, most notably St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow’s Red Square. Russia is also culturally contemporary; hip hop is hugely popular.

Russians appreciate art. Here in Washington, DC where I live, the subway system is modern and utilitarian. In Moscow, their subway system was modern and utilitarian, too but attention to artistic elements were also incorporated into its design. As we were rushing through a subway station, I was surprised to see the bust of a man prominently displayed. “Who is that?” I asked. It was Vladimir Mayakovsky, a famous Soviet poet from the mid-twentieth century. I liked the idea of being greeted by the image of a poet as part of my commute.                         


2. How can kids get involved with Double Dutch today?                                          
Jumping rope is so simple! A rope is easy to come by and if you can’t get a rope, go to the hardware store and use a clothesline. Double Dutch is a bit more complicated than jumping single and requires more people - but as a result it’s a lot more fun. You can learn how by watching a video - check out the one I made at: https://photos.app.goo.gl/sNfsqZ8tDo1WCtVR9 

But the best way is to have someone who already knows how to show you how to jump. If you’re in the metropolitan DC area, DC Retro Jumpers gives exhibitions year-round. Find out what we’re doing at www.DCRetroJumpers.com.

3. What was your journey like to get this book published?                                    
Many of my best blessings come to me in an unexpected direction. (Did I mention that I think God has a sense of humor?) Some years ago, I had written a play, Outdoor Recess, about a woman who starts a double Dutch team. In promoting my play, someone suggested that I actually gather together women who wanted to jump, so I did. That gathering eventually became DC Retro Jumpers, which got a fair amount of publicity and as the founder, I was always speaking on behalf of the group. One day, my agent said that double Dutch would make a good topic for a kids’ novel. My first thought was that between the play and the organizing and promoting of the team, I had said everything I had to say about double Dutch. But her idea lingered and I decided to pursue it. The first editor I pitched it to said yes! The result is Jayla Jumps In.

4.Do you plan on writing more kidlit?      
 Absolutely! I have several books out already for young people. Last year, my how-to for teens was published called Fearless Public Speaking. I’m currently pitching Sound Is Ready, a kids’ biography on Russell Williams, who won two Academy Awards for sound engineering for the movies Dances With Wolves and Glory. And I’m working on a MG novel about a boy who gets put off the school bus and - horrors! - has to walk home from school every day. The daily walk home changes his life. The working title is Walking The Boomerang.

5. Why should a child read your book?                                                                                                  I want the reader to enjoy the ride. My goal is to entertain, to put a smile on the reader’s face. If that happens, then I’m happy. But if Jayla Jumps In inspires someone to put down the cell phone and go outside and play a game like double Dutch - then I will be thrilled! I don’t want to preach, but the fun you create yourself - by engaging your imagination while reading a book or propelling your body in motion by jumping rope - that’s far more gratifying than the pre-packaged amusement you get on a TV, a computer or a cell. If I can contribute to your enjoyment in any way, then I am satisfied.                                                                                                                               
Keep up with me on Instagram at #JoyJones1433 or visit my website at www.joyjonesOnline.com.

BUY IT NOW-
Amazon

Monday, August 24, 2020

Book Review- Izzy Gizmo and the Invention Convention by Pip Jones

 Hi everyone! Today I have a fantastic picture book to review- Izzy Gizmo and the Invention Convention by Pip Jones, illustrated by Sara Ogilvie.


My Review-

I love books that engage a child's creativity, and I knew just from the title that I wanted to read this book. It is actually book two. Boo One, Izzy Gizmo introduces our young inventor. In this second book, Izzy is invited to participate in an Invention Convention. She runs into a problem when one of her competitors, Abi von Lavish, gets to everything first, leaving Izzy with no supplies. She despairs, but charges ahead. Then, she finds out that Abi is using up all the electricity. It's the final crack in her plan and Izzy doesn't know what to do. However, her bird companion, Fixer, has an idea. Use nature's energy! What a great idea. 

I loved all of the bold colors and creative pictures. The inventions are out of this world, so you have to give a little leeway, but the morals of the book, believing in yourself and never giving up, are well represented. This book will grab your child's imagination and it will blossom. Maybe they will start inventing things around the house. Who knows? I'm giving this PB 4 stars!

Monday, August 17, 2020

New Middle-Grade! Lola Benko, Treasure Hunter by Beth McMullen + Giveaway!

 

Welcome to Middle-Grade Monday! Today I am taking part in the Blog Tour for a new MG release, Lola Benko, Treasure Hunter by Beth McMullen. The pub date is just days away on Aug. 25th! You can pre-order now and get it the day it releases. I have a giveaway copy for one lucky reader. To enter fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

The Book-

Having a world-traversing archaeologist dad means twelve-year-old Lola Benko is used to moving around and not putting down roots anywhere. But every day and every hunt for something hidden is an adventure, and no matter what, she and her dad are an unbeatable team.

Then her father disappears. The official story is that he was caught in a flash flood, but Lola’s research shows the day in question was perfectly pleasant. And it will take more than empty reassurances from suspect strangers for Lola to give up on her dad. She has a feeling his disappearance has to do with a mythical stone he was studying—a stone so powerful, it could control the world. But in the wrong hands, it could end it, too...

With the help of some new friends at her school, it’s up to Lola to go on the most important hunt of her life.

My Review-

This book is alive with adventure. Lola is a spunky heroine who is able to accomplish a lot for being only 12 years old. Her inner dialogue is hilarious and her escapades even more so. Though I do wonder at a child being able to break into mansions or steal a car, the quirkiness fits the story. Lola is the only one who believes her father is still alive and she will do anything to prove it. She determines that she must steal something worth millions of dollars to be able to fund her quest. However, the bad guys find their way to her first. 

The two side characters are sweet. There is Jin, a boy Lola meets at her new school who wants to team up with her to win the annual STEM contest. Did I forget to mention Lola invents cool gadgets? Hannah, Jin's competition in the contest is the other character. I really enjoyed the dynamics between all three youth. From start to finish there is a full arc story of friendship and honor. I also liked that Lola was stalwart and able to face the evil magic stone on her own. You'll have to read to find out. 

Overall a great MG mystery/adventure with a magical twist. The end gives hints of a sequel so this book might be the beginning of something big. I give it 4 stars!

The Author-

Beth McMullen is the author of the Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls series; the Lola Benko, Treasure Hunter series; and several adult mysteries. Her books have heroes and bad guys, action and messy situations. An avid reader, she once missed her subway stop and rode the train all the way to Brooklyn because the book she was reading was that good. She lives in Northern California with her family, two cats and a parakeet named Zeus, who is sick of the cats eyeballing him like he’s dinner. Visit her at BethMcMullenBooks.com

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Friday, July 31, 2020

New YA Release- The Fergus

I've got a new release fresh off the press! The Fergus by Tori Welhouse. *I was notified that I had the age level wrong in my original post. This is not a middle-grade read, it is a YA 14+ read with just a little romance.

The Story-
In the mystical Highlands of Scotland, Rork, missing his beloved gran, wakes up with the ability to hear voices. And not just any voices. Fantastically Rork can hear voices of the dead, which lead him to a charismatic banshee and a colorful near-death survivor. The three are bound together in a time-tested banshee tradition with perhaps a side-goal or two. In the course of their adventures, they are pitched into an otherworld of before-death, after-death, and in-between-death.

The Author-
Tori Grant Welhouse is the winner of the Skyrocket Press 2019 Novel Writing Contest. She earned an MFA from Antioch University-International. She published a chapbook Canned with Finishing Line Press (2012), and her poems and reviews have appeared in many regional and online literary magazines. She is an active volunteer with Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets and lives in Green Bay. Herald the Fergus is her first novel. Early chapters earned an honorable mention at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Writers’ Institute (2012).

Check out her website here.

You're Invited! To the Facebook Launch Party August 6th at 4:30 Central Time. The author will be reading excerpts from the book and giving away prizes!
 https://www.facebook.com/torigrantwelhouseauthor/posts/115404530264020


Buy it NOW- Amazon