Blog Tour: The Summer I Drowned

Blog Tour

Wattpad Books’ summer thriller:

THE SUMMER I DROWNED

 

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Author: Taylor Hale

Publisher: Wattpad Books

Release Date: May 26, 2020

Genre: Teens & YA

ISBN: 9781989365182

Price: $10.99 (USD)

 

Description:

Five years after almost drowning, Olivia Cathart returns home to Caldwell Beach determined to face her fears and take some risks—not just by swimming, but by opening her heart. Hoping to rekindle her friendships, she’s excited about a carefree summer with her best friends Keely and Miles. But life in the sleepy town has changed, and no one and nothing is as it seems.

 

When a series of startling crimes threaten Olivia’s fragile state, she is plunged into a terrifying game of cat and mouse. Her only solace from the chaos is West, Miles’s disowned and ruggedly handsome brother, but even he can’t answer the question on everyone’s minds—is Olivia really in danger or is it simply all in her head?

 

Author Bio:

Taylor Hale was born in Southwestern Ontario, and started writing on Wattpad in 2015. When she isn’t writing, she can be found bartending at a live music venue, and thinking up her next idea. The Summer I Drowned is her first novel.

Q&A Session:

MENTAL HEALTH AND WRITING A MULTI-GENRE STORY

 

Question: What inspired you to write The Summer I Drowned?

Taylor Hale: Oddly enough, it was the name of a candle – “Sea Glass.” I thought it would make a pretty title for a story set in a beach town, maybe a romance. However, the title of the story evolved as the story itself did!

 

Q: What struggles did you face when writing this book? How did you go about using details from Olivia’s past to inform her present narrative?

TH: Getting into Olivia’s mental state was definitely a challenge, and a bit of a dark place to be writing from. I wanted to write her as someone who is constantly reminded of her past due to not only her trauma, but her emotional attachments to the people and places in the story. I think both her traumatic memories and her positive memories from Caldwell Beach shape who she is and how she sees the world throughout the story.

 

Q: In the book, Olivia struggles with trauma and PTSD. What do you hope young readers will take away from the ways Olivia copes with her mental health?  

TH: I hope they will feel less alone. I also hope they will see it’s okay to ask for help, or to accept help when it’s offered—it isn’t a weakness, it’s a strength.

 

Q: How does The Summer I Drowned stand out from other books of the same genre? What do you hope to bring to young adult fiction?

TH: I think THE SUMMER I DROWNED stands out in the sense that it has an element of thriller to it, but is very much a YA Contemporary story that focuses on friendships, relationships, and growing up. I hope to bring fresh and unique stories that someone, somewhere can relate to, even in a small way. More than anything, I hope my stories provide solace to those who need it.

 

Q: When you started using Wattpad, did you ever anticipate becoming a published author?

TH: Not really, no! I knew nothing about the industry or how people even get published. However, after being on the platform for a while, I quickly realized that writing was my calling.

 

Q: What advice would you give to young writers who are inspired by your writing?

TH: Writing is a craft that takes time and practice. Allow yourself room to “suck” — everyone starts somewhere. Give it time and patience and be kind to yourself when you feel your writing isn’t quite up to par; you’ll have time to fix things later. Getting words on the page is the most important first step.

 

About Wattpad Books:

Wattpad Books, a division of Wattpad, is the leader in data-backed publishing. Leveraging billions of daily insights from Wattpad’s global community of 70 million book lovers, Wattpad Books combines the best of art and science, using human expertise and Story DNA Machine Learning technology to identify the trends, voices, and stories that are the future of publishing. By elevating the stories of diverse communities around the world, Wattpad Books is creating new space for writers and fans of every genre.

Visit books.wattpad.com for more information.

 

PUBLICITY CONTACTS: Michela DellaMonica / 917-685-4412 / Michela.dellamonica@smithpublicity.com

smith publicity

Tour Dates: July 6-13, 2020

REVIEW COPIES & INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

 

Blog Tour & Guest Post: Guardian

Blog Tour

warrior ebook BN

Decisions can haunt you.

Five cycles ago Y’keta’s fear of responsibility drove him into exile. Now, settled in a new village, he faces the same choice again.

The Utlaak horde is on the move. Destroying village after village in their search for the mysterious Lifebinder Crystal, and Siann, the young shaman who controls it.

Soon, they will find his village, and her.

On that day Y’keta must decide if he will risk losing everything he has come to love, or will he finally become what he was meant to be? The Guardian.

Book Links

Amazon

 

Guest Post

The most divisive, hurtful, downright skanky word in the English language isn’t hatred, or prejudice, or anger, it is much, much older and more basic than that. It is the word, them. . .

Coming from the old Norse word ‘theim’ its meaning is literally ‘of them’. The word epitomizes the plight of the other, the exile, the outsider. If you are ‘of them’ are not and can never be ‘of us.’

Every war that has ever been fought, every political movement that has sought gain at the expense of a minority of the population, every high school clique that turned someone’s difference into a reason for exclusion; all started with a ‘them.’ They are not us so its okay to demonize, persecute, tease or bully them.

So, if being ‘the other’ is such a downright nasty position to be stuffed into, why would I take a character and deliberately put them in that position? Force them into the situation of not belonging, not fitting in?

Well, one of the biggest things I try to create in my writing is the sense of connectedness between the writer and the characters. Although they live in an unreal world, I want readers to understand that my characters, even the bad ones, are real people who have been pushed outside their comfort zones and forced to become something new.

Managing that horrible balance between the need to be who you truly are and the risks of stepping out of that self-imposed isolation is something that everyone deals with at some point.

In Exile, Y’keta refuses to blindly follow the expectations of his elders. Because he won’t just shut his beak and be quiet, he is exiled and forced into living among the people of Esquialt knowing that revealing even a hint of who he really is could destroy him. He truly is different, more different than the people of the village can possibly imagine. Will revealing his true nature destroy his chance to find a home? Can he take that chance?

In Guardian, Siann faces a different kind of isolation as she is forced to deal with the darkness within her own nature. She has the power and responsibility she has always wanted but it’s out of control. The price for using her power is terribly high. Conversations stop as she walks by. The little children are frightened by the magic that echoes in her voice. She’s a stranger, a freak in her own home.

Can Y’keta accept his responsibility to the Village? Will Siann control the power within her before it kills again?

The decisions these two outsiders make will change the People’s lives forever.

Teaser

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Author Bio

Biopic

A mythmaker at heart, Sandra Hurst has been writing poetry, fantasy and science fiction since her school days in England. Hurst moved to Canada in 1980 and was deeply influenced by the wild lands and the indigenous cultures that surrounded her. Y’keta, her first full-length novel, is set in a mythical land, untouched by science or technology, an ancient world where legends walk and the Sky Road offers a way to the stars.

A member of the Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society, the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association, and The Mythopoeic Society, Hurst works to build fantasy worlds that allow her readers to join her in exploring the depths of human interaction in a mythical game of ‘what if.’

Her first novel, Exile, was long-listed for the prestigious Aurora Award, for best Canadian fantasy novel (Young Adult) and the American-based RONE award for break out fantasy novel.

She now lives in Calgary, Alberta with her husband and son, both of whom she loves dearly, and has put up for sale on e-bay when their behaviour demanded it.

 

Author Links

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Tour Stop & Guest Post with Lisa Manterfield

Blog Tour, Guest Post, Misc.

The Smallest Thing
By Lisa Manterfield

The very last thing 17-year-old Emmott Syddall wants is to turn out like her dad. She’s descended from ten generations who never left their dull English village, and there’s no way she’s going to waste a perfectly good life that way. She’s moving to London and she swears she is never coming back.

But when the unexplained deaths of her neighbors force the government to quarantine the village, Em learns what it truly means to be trapped. Now, she must choose. Will she pursue her desire for freedom, at all costs, or do what’s best for the people she loves: her dad, her best friend Deb, and, to her surprise, the mysterious man in the HAZMAT suit?

Inspired by the historical story of the plague village of Eyam, this contemporary tale of friendship, community, and impossible love weaves the horrors of recent news headlines with the intimate details of how it feels to become an adult—and fall in love—in the midst of tragedy.

Book Info:

ISBN: 978-0-9986969-2-8
Category: Upper Young Adult Fiction
Publication: July 18, 2017
Pages: 286
Size: 5.25 x 8.00 in.
Price: $15.95
Binding: Perfect Bound
Publisher: Steel Rose Press

Purchase Links (non-affiliate)
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Smallest-Thing-Lisa-Manterfield-ebook/dp/B07144H7PJ/
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-smallest-thing/id1234756426?ls=1&mt=11
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-smallest-thing
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-smallest-thing-lisa-manterfield/1126725031?ean=2940158614415

Goodreads info, click here.

 

Lisa Manterfield Headshot

Meet Lisa Manterfield

She is the award-winning author of A Strange Companion and I’m Taking My Eggs and Going Home: How One Woman Dared to Say No to Motherhood. Her latest novel, The Smallest Thing, came out July 18th. Originally from northern England, she now lives in Southern California with her husband and over-indulged cat. Find out more at LisaManterfield.com.

Author Links:

http://www.LisaManterfield.com
Facebook: AuthorLisaManterfield
Instagram: @lmanterfield
Twitter: @lisamanterfield
Goodreads: LisaManterfield

Guest Post:

Could You Be a Hero? One Author Says Yes

You’ve seen them on your newsfeed, those ordinary people who perform heroic acts. They are passersby who pull victims away from danger, petite mothers who find superhuman strength to lift an SUV off a trapped toddler, and Good Samaritans who offer care and encouragement to a stranger until emergency services arrive at the scene. And maybe you wonder, if that was me, would I have done the same? Would I have put my own safety before that of a stranger? If the situation called for it, could I be a hero?

Thankfully, most of us will never find ourselves in the midst of tragedy and be forced to answer to those questions. But the scenario makes for good fiction: a character who has no desire to be a hero, but who finds herself in a situation that forces her to acknowledge what sort of person she really is. When her life and the lives of people she loves are in danger, will she save herself, even if it endangers others, or will she discover a side of her personality that she never knew existed?

It’s the question I pose in my latest novel, The Smallest Thing, the story of a young woman on the brink of leaving her dull English village to start her real life, who finds herself trapped there by a government-imposed quarantine. She must decide whether to try to save herself, or do what’s right for the people she loves. Only when faced with unimaginable tragedy, does she get to know her true self.

While working on the novel, I read a fascinating book by Sebastian Junger. In Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, Junger explores human behavior in times of war and disaster. In one particular chapter he explores the roles people assume during times of high stress. There are those who take on the role of active leader. They dig victims from rubble, devise means of escape, and even put their own lives at risk for the chance to save someone else’s. There’s also another important group that arises. They are the empathetic leaders. They administer care, they rally victims and keep moral high, and they save lives by instilling the will to live in others, even when their own futures look grim. Junger concludes that this second group is equally heroic and just as important to ultimate survival.

The thing I found most fascinating about the book is that Junger concludes that neither of these groups of heroes are oddities, and that most of us are wired, ultimately, to thrive during tragedy, to pull together for the greater good. We saw it in this country during and after 9/11, we saw it when Hurricane Katrina struck. In fact, we see it every day, in the news and around us, if only we look for it. Sometimes the acts of kindness are heroic and sometimes they are small and seemingly insignificant. But if you’ve ever called a grandparent “just because” or sent flowers to a friend who’s going through a rough time or helped a neighbor who’s sick, you know that even the smallest gesture of kindness can seem heroic to someone who needs it.

I hope that none of us will ever have to discover what sort of hero we are, but it gives me comfort to know that the ability to be a good human is hard-wired into us, so that, when the call comes, we’ll discover who we really are.

Want MORE?

Giveaway info here.

Check out Lisa’s kick off post here.

Tour Schedule:

July 18: Interview with Rebecca Lacko

July 19: Guest Post at A New Look on Books

July 20: Interview with Heather Sunseri

July 21: Interview at Booked for Review

July 22: Interview with Michael Raymond

July 23: Interview with Farah Oomerbhoy

July 24: Review by Mixed Bag Mama

July 25: Guest Post at History in the Margins with Pamela Toler

July 26: Review at YA Book Divas

July 27: Review at The Reading Wolf

July 28: Review at For the Novel Lovers