I’ve been seeing and hearing some wonderful “Buzz” regarding a book that’s just been released (July 14): THE BOOK OF DARES FOR LOST FRIENDS by Jane Kelley. Jane is a fellow member of the Smack Dab in the Middle blog (http://www.smack-dab-in-the-middle.com) that we contribute to. So it is a pleasure to have her as a guest today. Here’s Jane. I’ve been making up stories all my life, but I didn’t really become a writer until about ten years ago, when my daughter was nine years old. As she read the beginning of a novel I was writing in a notebook, I saw what captivated her––and what did not. “Mom,” she said, “I think you’re going to run out of story.” I sure didn’t like hearing that! But I took her advice and rewrote it. NATURE GIRL became my first published novel. Since then, I’ve relied upon her as a critic and a connection to younger people. She’s a busy college student now, but she still gives me feedback. After I described my plan for THE BOOK OF DARES FOR LOST FRIENDS, she said, “I’ve read so many books about friends who get left behind. I’d like to read one that explores the person who does the leaving.” Once again, I took her advice. The novel follows two friends starting middle school who make drastically different choices. Val is loyal. Lanora is ambitious. My daughter’s comment encouraged me to tell all sides of the story. I thought more deeply about why someone would pick the wrong friends, what happens when she starts to regret it, and what, if anything, could be done to make things right again. THE BOOK OF DARES FOR LOST FRIENDS will be released on July 14th. http://us.macmillan.com/thebookofdaresforlostfriends/janekelley “This entertaining and compassionate coming-of-age story explores middle-school cruelty, the heartache of abandonment, and the supple bonds of friendship”. – Publishers Weekly Val and Lanora have been friends forever. Val expects their relationship to stay the same. But after they start middle school, Lanora decides to reinvent herself. Her parents have split up, and she wants to rise above that. Unfortunately Lanora’s choices lead her into trouble. Val hates watching her friend lose her way. She wants to rescue Lanora, but how? Val doesn’t know what to do until a stray cat leads her to a strange boy who lives in an even stranger bookshop. Together they embark on a quest. Will they be able to save a lost friend? Will they get lost themselves? Or will they find a way to help each other become who they want to be . . . . Jane Kelley has created a nuanced, universal story about friendship and that delicate time of adolescence when there is much to lose and much more to find.
One lucky reader of this blog post will be able to enjoy this delightful story by winning a FREE SIGNED COPY of THE BOOK OF DARES FOR LOST FRIENDS. Just leave a comment in this post for one entry, tweet about it for a second entry and reblog it for a third entry. Let me know what you’ve done and I will pull a name on Sunday 8-9 and announce the winner on 8-10.