It’s with great pleasure that I welcome author Marilyn Levinson here today as a stop on her Great Escapes Book Tour for her new YA novel, GETTING BACK TO NORMAL.
As part of the tour, Marilyn will be joining us to answer some questions about her writing, I’m sharing my thoughts on her delightful book, and there’s a giveaway.
Thanks to Marilyn and the lovely Lori at Great Escapes Book Tours, I have one eBook copy of GETTING BACK TO NORMAL to giveaway. Please see the end of the post for the details.
GETTING BACK TO NORMAL by Marilyn Levinson
Vanessa ‘Vannie’ Taylor is dealing with the loss of her mother as she cares for her younger brother, Robby. Dealing with his own grief, Vannie’s father moves his family out of their home and into a tiny cottage on the estate where he is the director of Merrymount Gardens. The move is made a bit easier by her Aunt Mayda, who really isn’t an aunt but her late mother’s best friend. Mayda owns Merrymount Gardens, but lives in the city where she’s a lawyer.
To Vannie’s surprise, she encounters Archibald ‘Archie’ Heatherton, the estate’s resident ghost and Mayda’s grandfather. After helping Vannie with a problem or two, Archie ask for her help in return. He wants her to help him make amends for something that happened with his death. While she’d like to help Archie, if she does it will mean a drastic change in Vannie’s life. Longing for life to get back to normal, Vannie learns normal may not be what she expected.
Author Marilyn Levinson has taken a story that deals with the death of a parent, added hope and mixed in a bit of humor for a well-balanced tale. Her characters are well-developed, likable and realistic. She blends the stress of family life with a touch of paranormal for a light-hearted tale that will have you smiling.
GETTING BACK TO NORMAL is a quick read that flows smoothly with a surprise or two along the way.
Getting Back To Normal by Marilyn Levinson, Untreed Reads Publishing, @2013, ASIN: B00D3A066C, eBook, 289KB, 1333 Pages
FTC Full Disclosure - An eBook copy of this book was sent to me as part of the author’s virtual book tour in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Marilyn joins us now and has graciously answered some questions about her book and her writing.
Mason: What made this story so compelling you wanted to write it?
In GETTING BACK TO NORMAL, twelve-year-old Vannie Taylor’s mom has just died, and Vannie’s life is spiraling out of control. Her father, so dependent on his wife, is helpless. He moves Vannie and her younger brother to a dingy cottage on the large estate where he manages events like dinners, craft shows, etc. Though devastated by her loss, Vannie experiences many new adventures. Life does get back to normal for her, but in a way she’d never expected. I felt compelled to see Vannie through her loss and her grief, to a place where she could go on with her life.
Mason - With the book’s release, as you look back what was the biggest surprise that occurred while you were writing the story?
I became very attached to Archie, the ghost. When Vannie first meets Archie, he’s amusing and comical. But Archie has a sad secret. He wants Vannie to help him atone for something he’d done, something she’s totally against. Archie’s past and Vannie’s present collide. Part of her maturing is learning to see the whole picture and all the people involved.
Mason - Have you always wanted to write or was there an event that lead you to writing?
I was an avid reader from the moment I learned to read, and wrote stories at an early age. Discouraged by a high school teacher’s comments, I stopped writing for many years. I took it up again when my sons were young. I started out writing short stories and poems, but soon learned I am essentially a novelist.
Mason - Of all the authors (past and present) you enjoy reading, has any one (or more) been an influence in your writing?
If anyone influenced my love for writing mysteries, it would be Agatha Christie.
Mason - How would you encourage someone who has never read YA books to give them a try?
YA books aren’t only for the young. Proof of this are the thousands of adults who have read the Harry Potter series and THE HUNGER GAMES, to name a few. YA protagonists are young, but the themes vary—from adventure to romance, fantasy to realism.
Mason - What can readers look forward to next from you?
I’ve recently finished a sequel to my Children’s Choice RUFUS AND MAGIC RUN AMOK called RUFUS AND THE WITCH’S SLAVE. It takes place in the South of France.
Marilyn, thanks for joining us today and giving us a look at your writing. YA books definitely have an appeal for the older reader, as well.
Now a bit about Marilyn. A former Spanish teacher, she writes mysteries, romance, and books for children and young adults.
Her romantic suspense, DANGEROUS RELATIONS, is a love story entwined with an intriguing mystery. GIVING UP THE GHOST is an entertaining ghost mystery. The first of her Twin Lakes Mysteries, A MURDERER AMONG US, was awarded a Best Indie of 2011 by Suspense Magazine. A new edition of A MURDERER AMONG US and its sequel, MURDER IN THE AIR, will be out soon.
A ghost, a mansion, and a feral Maine Coon cat feature in Marilyn’s brand new YA, GETTING BACK TO NORMAL. Three of her popular out-of-print children’s books, AND DON’T BRING JEREMY, NO BOYS ALLOWED, and RUFUS AND MAGIC RUN AMOK are now available as eBooks.
Marilyn is co-founder and past-president of the Long Island chapter of Sisters in Crime. She lives on Long Island.
For more on Marilyn and her writing, visit her website, her Amazon Author Page or find her at Untreed Reads Books, Facebook and Twitter.
To follow Marilyn on her tour, visit the participating blogs below (there are other chances to win a copy of the book):
Aug. 5 - Queen of All She Reads Review, guest post, giveaway
Aug. 6 – StoreyBook Reviews Review, guest post
Aug. 7 – Mommasez… Review, guest post
Aug. 9 – readalot blog Review, interview
Aug. 12 – A Chick Who Reads Review, giveaway
Aug. 13 - Brooke Blogs Review
Aug. 14 – FUONLYKNEW Review
This giveaway is for an eBook copy only. To enter, just send me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the subject line, “Win Getting Back to Normal.” Your message should include your name and the email address you’d like the eBook sent to. The deadline to enter this giveaway for an e-copy of GETTING BACK TO NORMAL is 8 p.m. (EDT) on Saturday, Aug. 17.
Thanks so much for stopping by today. Do you read YA books? If so, what draw you to start reading? If not, have you ever tried reading one?