Today I share my review on the blog tour for Till it Stops Beating by Hannah R. Goodman. This one was published on July 5th!
Seventeen-year-old Maddie Hickman’s senior year begins with the good (the reemergence of The One That Got Away), the bad (a cancer diagnosis, not hers, but it might as well be) and the WTF (an anxiety attack that renders her writhing on the floor like an upside down crab).
Adding to her spiraling anxiety is Senior Project, in the form of I’ve Decided To Write A Book about The Other One That Got Away (And Crushed My Heart). Compounding it all is applying to college and keeping up with her friends. The ever mounting stress eventually rips her tight grip on all that she holds dear.
Her break down leads to an unexpected road trip where she is forced to listen to her wildly beating heart. It is only in the back of a convertible with pop music blasting, that she discovers she must risk everything in order to really live.
Author: Hannah R. Goodman
Published: July 5th, 2018
Reviewed By: September 28-October 6, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars
I did not realize this was book four in The Maddie Chronicles when I started it. The first three in the series are:
My Sister’s Wedding
My Summer Vacation
Fear of Falling
When I found out it was the fourth then things made sense: I felt I was ‘missing’ pieces of information during the first part of the novel. I would advise you to read the others in the series before reading Till it Stops Beating.
OK, now that that is over…..
Till it Stops Beating is a coming of age novel for Maddie. She is transitioning from childhood to adulthood and along the way faces some difficult issues, among them anxiety and cancer. Hannah also deals with heartbreak in relationships, family issues and of course: jelly doughnuts. The first few chapters had me craving doughnuts!
Goodman did a good job capturing a teen dealing with anxiety and an unknown future that makes up one’s senior year of high school, which really is a year of change and big decisions. Then in addition to all of that, she has to deal with a relative’s cancer diagnosis and that unknown can be heartbreaking
I enjoyed the second part immensely; I felt I really got to know Maddie through the road trip she took with friends.
You will laugh and might tear up reading this one. The ending is a pleasant one with hope for the future. And the title just gives you all the feelings once you have finished the novel!
About the Author:
Often referred to as “the teenage whisperer”, Hannah R. Goodman’s twenty-year career working with teenagers includes the titles teacher, tutor, coach, and, more recently, mental health counselor. Hannah has written essays about mental health for various online publications. Her work has appeared on MindBodyGreen, OC87 Recovery Diaries, Zencare.co, and The Mighty. Though she has previously earned the title author with her first three books, the last was released in 2009 and all were self-published. This time around, indie publisher Black Rose Writing released her novel Till It Stops Beating this summer.
Hannah’s first YA novel, My Sister’s Wedding, won the first place award for The Writer’s Digest International Self-Publishing Contest, 2004, children’s book division. She published the follow-up, My Summer Vacation, in May 2006, which went on to win a bronze IPPY in 2007. The third Maddie book, Fear of Falling, was released in the fall of 2009 and was praised by teachers and readers for tackling subjects like homophobia and coming out. She’s published young adult short stories on Amazon’s Shorts, in an anthology entitled Bound Is The Bewitching Lilith, and in the journal Balancing The Tides. She also has written columns for The Jewish Voice & Herald. Recent, previous projects include Sucker Literary, which features emerging YA authors and All The Way YA, a group blog of writers telling the real deal about writing and publishing YA fiction.
Hannah is a member of ARIA (Association of Rhode Island Authors) as well as a graduate of Pine Manor College’s Solstice Program in Creative Writing where she earned an MFA in Writing For Young People. She resides in Bristol, RI with her husband, two daughters, and black and white cat named Zoe.
Today I am one of the stops on the blog tour for Video Killed the Radio Star by Duncan MacMaster! I will be sharing an Q&A. Video Killed the Radio Star was published by Fahrenheit Press on July 26, 2018.
Money in the bank and his dream girl on his arm – life was looking pretty sweet for Kirby Baxter.
Of course it couldn’t last. Where would the fun be in that? This is a sequel after all.
After solving the murder of a movie starlet the previous year, Kirby is doing his best to live down his burgeoning reputation as part-time Interpol agent and amateur sleuth.
Then reality TV comes knocking next door.
Million Dollar Madhouse is a reality TV show where a bunch of washed up celebrities are thrown together in a dilapidated mansion while their attempts to renovate the building are broadcast 24/7 for the viewers delight.
Kirby’s quiet town is thrown into chaos by the arrival of camera crews, remote control video drones and a cast of characters including disgraced actress Victoria Gorham, political shock-jock Bert Wayne and reality TV royalty Kassandra Kassabian.
When one of the cast members turns up dead the local police turn to the only celebrity detective in town for help and draft an unwilling Kirby into their investigation.
The first body is only the beginning of another rip-roaring adventure for Kirby Baxter and with Gustav his loyal driver/valet/bodyguard/gardener//chef/ass-kicker at his side, our hero plunges into the fray with his usual stunning displays of deductive reasoning and sheer bloody luck.
First of all, can you please tell us about your latest book?:
It’s called VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR, and it stars comics geek/amateur sleuth KIRBY BAXTER and his Scooby Gang of friends solving the murder of a talk radio host who is literally and figuratively killed by television.
Where do you find inspiration for your novels?
Usually in pieces. I will see something in the news, hear some rumour, read some story from history, and over time, those pieces gel into the plot and characters for the story. Usually the plot and characters form together, with the characters and their personalities driving how the story turns out.
Who is your writing hero?
I have many. Raymond Chandler, Agatha Christie, Dashiell Hammett, Ray Bradbury, Peter Straub, PG Wodehouse, Jim Thompson, PD James, Arthur C. Clarke, Dorothy L. Sayers, James Ellroy, JRR Tolkien, SCTV’s writers, and the many who wrote Batman and the Justice League comics when I was a kid.
Which book do you wish you had written?
I try not to think about that, or I’d just sink into a bottomless pit of jealousy.
What advice would you give to someone considering taking the plunge and attempting to write their first novel?
First: Read a lot, then write a lot.
Then get your book done.
After that let it stew for a little while, maybe work on something else for a few days, then dive into rewriting. Because real writing is found in rewriting and editing. Lots of rewriting and editing. It might seem like hard work at first, but you will be surprised at all the ways to improve your work that you will discover.
If you could have a dinner party and invite three other writers (living or dead), who would you invite?
That’s a tricky question. Inviting Chandler and Thompson would be risky because they’d probably get drunk and in a fight with each other. Hammett would lecture everyone about how Stalin was misunderstood. So I guess I would play it safe and invite Agatha Christie, PG Wodehouse, and JRR Tolkien, to have a pleasant meal while discussing character and plot construction, and world building.
What’s the one question you wish I had asked and what’s the answer?
Q— What’s an under appreciated work that mystery and crime writers should read or see?
A— A personal favourite of mine that’s mostly forgotten is a film from the 1970s called The Last of Sheila. It was written by actor Anthony Perkins and Broadway composer Steven Sondheim, and is a masterclass on how to structure a whodunnit. The clues are literally everywhere, but still has enough well played misdirections and distractions to keep you guessing until the very end. It’s also a subtle satire on celebrity with the cast of suspects all being parodies of Sondheim & Perkins’ Hollywood friends and colleagues.
About the Author:
Duncan MacMaster is a writer, pop-culture blogger, and film school survivor from the untamed wilds of Eastern Canada.
When he’s not concocting plots for Kirby Baxter to unravel he’s posting rants and rages about the business behind pop-culture on his blog.
This blog tour spot has been brought to you by this site and:
Today I am on the blog tour for Dear Mr Pop Star by Derek & Dave Philpott. I share my review on this one!
A collection of hilarious letters to iconic pop and rock stars with fantastic in-on-the-joke replies from the artists themselves: Eurythmics, Heaven 17, Deep Purple, Devo, Dr. Hook and many, many more…
For more than a decade, Derek Philpott and his son, Dave, have been writing deliberately deranged letters to pop stars from the 1960s to the 90s to take issue with the lyrics of some of their best-known songs. They miss the point as often as they hit it.
But then, to their great surprise, the pop stars started writing back…
Dear Mr Pop Star contains 100 of Derek and Dave’s greatest hits, including correspondence with Katrina and the Waves, Tears for Fears, Squeeze, The Housemartins, Suzi Quatro, Devo, Deep Purple, Nik Kershaw, T’Pau, Human League, Eurythmics, Wang Chung, EMF, Mott the Hoople, Heaven 17, Jesus Jones, Johnny Hates Jazz, Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine, Chesney Hawkes and many, many more.
Authors: Derek & Dave Philpott
Published: September 20, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: October 6-7, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Letter writing is becoming a rarity in our instant electronic world. Growing up, we all seemed to write to a celebrity or two. Maybe we heard back from the celebrity, but most likely we did not. Derek and Dave Philpott have done this: They actually wrote letters to pop stars, and they even got letters back!…..
The letters to the pop stars can be hilarious as are the responses they get. Sometimes the responses are ‘normal’ and sometimes the pop stars continue their answer in the way the Philpotts sent their original letter. They even included letters where there was no response.
Admittedly, I have not heard of most of the bands in this book. The bands range from the 1960s through the 1990s so most are ‘before my time’ or not as well known. Some kind of background info would have been helpful on the bands.
This would be the perfect coffee table book/Christmas present for the music lover in your life! You could pick up the book and turn it to any page knowing you are going to be entertained for either 5 minutes or a couple of hours!
About the Authors:
Derek and Dave Philpott are the noms de plume of two ordinary members of the public, working with help from a worldwide social networking community. Neither they, or anybody assisting with the creative aspects of this project had any connections with the music, entertainment, media or publishing industries whatsoever at the time of its commencement. Despite these humble origins, however, they now find themselves in the bizarre but enviable position whereby many pop stars and people within these circles are their friends “in real life’” (whatever that means!). Many artists consider “getting a Dereking” as a badge of honour, and, as one has participant succinctly put it:
‘’This is an ingenious and extremely inventive concept. You have given us a platform to answer questions that have been asked of us for years by our fans, and respond on a public platform of immense fun. You’ve created a weird and wonderful world loved and admired by 1,000s of people worldwide, and you have your own army of loyal fans. That pretty much makes you part of ‘us lot’ now!’’[Top]