Stop Stalling – A Year After “Keep Her” ~ A Guest Post by Leora Krygier

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Leora Krygier came into my life unexpectedly when I received a copy of her novel Keep Her last year. You can read my review here. Since that time not only did I find myself moved by this endearing and thought-provoking story that was a 2016 silver medal winner of the Moonbeam Chidren’s Book Award, but I was continually touched and inspired by my correspondence with Leora. It is an honor to have her share her journey after writing Keep Her here today. So without further ado..


Stop Stalling – A Year After “Keep Her.”

By Leora Krygier

Stop stalling! That’s what I kept saying to myself every morning for a year after the publication of my novel “Keep Her.” But somehow that well-worn imperative didn’t give me enough of the nudge I needed. Sure, there were some understandable reasons – my dad’s illness and his eventual passing away, and a new, delicious baby in the family. There was a lot going on – birth and death and everything in between, still I knew. I was stalling. And this stalling became my “bête noir,” roughly translated, my “dark beast,” or the nagging thorn in my side because every time I sat down to write at my desktop computer, ten minutes later I got up and found something else to do instead.

Life after publication is both exhilarating but also downright nerve wracking. I’d been through it before – the excruciating wait for reviews, the readings, the mentions in the press, and the PR and marketing push.  I did a lot of fun things this time including a SnapChat story, Instagram bookstagrams, a trip to the Book Expo in Chicago and meetings with environmental organizations like Heal The Bay, but still, writing and even publishing can be an often solitary road.

So now – thirteen months later, where am I? I’m still zigging and zagging on that road. I’m aching to write a sequel to Keep Her, to write the next life chapter for my beloved fictional characters Maddie and Aiden, whom I kind of left hanging at the end of the novel. But there’s another book – one that’s three quarters written, a memoir of sorts, and so much harder to write because it has to do with me, and who in the world wants to read about a year in my life?

But that non-fiction book needs completion, an arc closed, if not for others, than for myself. It’s about the year I made a left turn on both my writing and life roads. I spent a year researching a random W.W.II postcard I found in a thrift store in Los Angeles, then tracked down the owner and ran half way across the world to return it to its rightful place. And I say left turn because I should have been doing something else – figuring out my own family history, the whys and wherefores of my father’s past, his secrets and how they oozed into my life. But sometimes you have to make a left turn to get onto the right road, right?

I recently looked up the origin of the word “stall.” The noun refers to a compartment in a stable or shed that houses an animal. The verb is about delay, putting things away, i.e. putting them out of sight and out of mind. That definition made me realize that my “bête noir,” my own little beast was waiting for me to let it out of its stall.

And so, I did. I stopped stalling. Well, kind of. I reorganized my office space and put away a lot of my distractions. I bought a new chair. I finally opened up the computer file with the mostly written book and I’ve actually added and subtracted to the manuscript. It’s a start, I guess.


Meet Leora Krygier

leora.jpgI think I wrote my first story at the age of eight, a micro-autobiography. Micro? Because, well, how much can you say at the age of eight? But I guess I was hooked. I also love to take photos with my cameras and iPhone, which is always snug in my back pocket.
For me, every photo has a story, and every story is a snapshot.
I’m the author of “When She Sleeps” (Toby Press) a New York Public Library Selection for “Best Books for the Teen Age,” and about which Newsweek said, “Krygier’s luminous prose transports the reader.”
I’m also a former Los Angeles Superior Court judge and the author of “Juvenile Court: A Judge’s Guide for Young Adults and their Parents” (Scarecrow Press).
I live in Los Angeles with my husband. When I’m not writing, I love to go to the beach, walk the Santa Monica Mountain trails, and snap lots and lots of photographs.

Untitled design Leora enjoys a good English Breakfast tea and a blackberry infused tea and says “Nothing like a good cuppa”.

Follow Leora: Website Twitter Instagram

Leora’s Books
(click for Goodreads info)
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I want to extend a special thank you to Leora for sharing this experience and her time today.

Happy Reading ❤

Danielle

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Guest Post With Marit Weisenberg and Her Debut Novel, Select

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I am pleased to be welcoming Marit Weisenberg to Books, Vertigo and Tea today to share her debut novel Select and her thoughts on her favorite “In-Crowds.” I hope you will all enjoy this post as much as I have!

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Select
By Marit Weisenberg
Publisher: Charlesbridge Teen
ISBN13: 9781580898065
Pages: 352
Genre: YA/Paranormal

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Synopsis:

Coming from a race of highly-evolved humans, Julia Jaynes has the perfect life. The perfect family. The perfect destiny. But there’s something rotten beneath the surface—dangerous secrets her father is keeping; abilities she was never meant to have; and an elite society of people determined to keep their talents hidden and who care nothing for the rest of humanity. So when Julia accidentally disrupts the Jaynes’ delicate anonymity, she’s banished to the one place meant to make her feel inferior: public high school. 

Julia’s goal is to lay low and blend in. Then she meets him—John Ford, tennis prodigy, all-around good guy. When Julia discovers a knack for reading his mind, and also manipulating his life, school suddenly becomes a temporary escape from the cold grip of her manipulative father. But as Julia’s powers over John grow, so do her feelings. For the first time in her life, Julia begins to develop a sense of self, to question her restrictive upbringing and her family prejudices. She must decide: can a perfect love be worth more than a perfect life?


Round up: My five favorite novels about the in-crowd

From vampires as flawless as marble statues to a family of beautiful, remote sisters, the central characters of these five novels form seductive, exclusive cliques. Often the main character is an outsider wanting in, a narrator who watches from afar and yearns to penetrate the inner circle and experience the allure firsthand. Exclusive groups can hold a promise—that they have a secret worth knowing, that theyre living life in a better way and, if only the narrator can be let in, they’ll have safety, belonging, or even the family they’ve never had. I’ve always been entranced by stories about captivating, mysterious groups so it’s no surprise that my debut young adult novel, Select, has one of its own—a magnetic group who desires extreme anonymity but can’t help from attracting unwanted attention.

1.The Girls by Emma Cline

In the poetic novel by Emma Cline, a middle-aged Evie Boyd looks back at the seductive pull a Manson-like cult had on her fourteen-year-old self and the forces that led her to live at a run-down ranch among a group of girls headed by a charismatic male leader and the increasingly dangerous choices she was forced to make.

2. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

This moving, heartbreaking novel is about a group of New York City kids at an arts summer camp who dub themselves ‘the Interestings,’ and Julie ‘Jules’ Jacobson, the lucky outsider from the suburbs who gets accepted into the sophisticated crew. The story moves forward and backward in time with the group, examining how their respective talents and relationships evolve over decades, and the impact the Interestings have on Jules’s life.

3. The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer

I am a huge fan of the Romeo and Juliet romance in the infamous Twilight series but my favorite aspect is the impenetrable and perfect vampire family, the Cullens. They remain a mystery to everyone who meets them except to one outsider who, at great danger to herself and the group, makes her way into the heart of the coven.

4. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

Eugenides’s ethereal debut novel about the inaccessible, beautiful Lisbon sisters and the group of adolescent boys who worship them is one of my all time favorites. Long after they’ve grown up, the boys’ obsession continues and their every interaction with the sisters is exhaustively analyzed and catalogued as they attempt to understand the girls’ incomprehensible suicides.

5. The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Under the guidance of their classics professor, six students at a small New England college commit themselves to a new way of living that they believe puts them on a

higher plane of existence. This is a story about how insular and powerful a group can become, leading them to justify their own horrifying acts.

Meet The Author

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Marit Weisenberg has a master’s degree from UCLA in Cinema and Media Studies and worked as a film and television executive for a number of years in Los Angeles. She currently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and two daughters. Select is Marit’s debut novel for young adult readers.
Follow Merit:

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

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Marit’s tea of choice: She is a big fan of Earl Grey!

I want to extend a special thank you to Marit for her time and for discussing such a fantastic topic!

Connect With Me: FacebookTwitterTumblr and Instagram

Unexpected Outcomes by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson

Book Excerpt

I am pleased to feature Carolyn Ridder Aspenson’s upcoming title; Unexpected Outcomes. Today I have an excerpt of Chapter 1 and a generous giveaway hosted by the author. Unexpected Outcomes is scheduled for release on 9/19/17 and is the 4th book in the Angela Panther Mystery series. Stick around for a chance to win a set of ebooks!

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Unexpected Outcomes 
By Carolyn Ridder Aspenson

Synopsis:

Unexpected Outcomes An Angela Panther Mystery is the 4th book in the Angela Panther paranormal Mystery series.

Angela is a stay at home mom who just happens to be a psychic medium. Join Angela, her dead mother Fran, and her best friend, Mel as they help Atlanta are detective Aaron Banner solve crimes and cross over spirits in this women’s sleuth mystery.

LIES, SECRETS AND THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL.

When a frantic 911 call stumps a suburban Atlanta police department, psychic medium Angela Panther is asked to help. Without a body or a ransom note, the cops question whether there’s even a crime, but Angela’s certain the woman’s no longer among the living.

On the outside, the woman’s family seems run of the mill, but Angela’s sixth sense tells her something different, she just has to find the evidence—and the victim’s remains, to prove it.

With the help of her best friend, Mel, and Fran, her celestial super sleuth mother, she sets out to find it and stumbles into a web of dark, dangerous family secrets worse than she ever imagined.

When a desperate spirit forces Angela to act on impulse, she makes one wrong move and lands right in the path of the killer. Alone, and begging for her life, Angela realizes she might not make it out alive.

This book is the 4th in the series but as with all the others, can be read as a stand-alone.


Chapter One Excerpt

“I CAN’T BELIEVE I’m gonna die. Please, no. Why are you shooting at us?”

I pulled the trigger and watched as the bullet raced through the air, smacking my best friend in the center of her chest.

I bolted upright; sweat dripping from my forehead, tears streaming down my cheeks, my heart beating faster than ever. I’d just dreamed I’d shot my best friend, my best friend. I mumbled under my breath. It’s just a dream, just a dream.

My husband Jake rolled over and rubbed my leg. “You okay, babe?”

I lay down and snuggled into him. “Another nightmare. I shot Mel.”

He wrapped his arms around me and squeezed. “We both know that would never happen. It was just a dream. Don’t let it upset you.”

I glanced at the clock. It was four AM, and I knew I wouldn’t fall back asleep, so I kissed Jake and got up for the day, resigned to the fact that I’d be exhausted before nightfall. I shuffled to the bathroom, closed the double doors, and flipped on the light. My eyes sunk like anchors in the blue and black pits swelling below them. Sleep eluded me most nights, and the nights I did catch a few z’s contained restless and fitful slumber, and it showed.

Downstairs, I made a fresh pot of coffee, and while waiting for it to finish, replayed the dream in my head. Nothing was clear except Mel. Fuzzy images of gravel and trees flashed briefly in my head, but their pictures remained too blurred and indistinct to identify with any clarity. My gift allowed me to communicate with the dead, not predict the future, and half of me thought the dream meant nothing. The other half though, threw red flags up all over the kitchen, practically screaming “Danger, Will Robinson”, like that old TV show. That half knew the Universe didn’t have a rulebook, and the fear of what it could mean crushed my heart like a ton of bricks. Six months ago I couldn’t feel what a ghost felt, but that had changed, so I knew endless possibilities existed, and that scared the bejesus out of me. I powered on my phone and pounded out a text to Mel.

“I had a bad dream,” I wrote.

It didn’t take long for her to respond. That’s how best friends worked. No matter what time it was, they were there when we needed them. “Wow, me too. It was so strange. I shot you.”

My heart raced into the anaerobic zone. I snatched my keys from the key box, slipped on my tennis shoes and bolted out the door and into my car in the garage. Both of us having the same dream wasn’t a coincidence. It meant something, and I didn’t need my spidey sense to tell me that.  Continue reading “Unexpected Outcomes by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson”