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Review and Excerpt: In Leah's Wake by Terri Giuliano Long (and a plea to vote for my blog, please!-just fill out the form on Novel Publicity and take the time to vote)

Monday, December 12, 2011


A mesmerizing story of love, loss, connection and grace

The Tyler family had the perfect life until sixteen-year-old Leah decided she didn't want to be perfect anymore.
As Leah's rebellion escalates, her parents, Zoe and Will, wage a desperate battle to save their daughter from destroying her brilliant future. Meanwhile, her younger sister, Justine, must bear the burden of coping with the destruction her out-of-control sibling leaves in her wake.

In Cortland, Massachusetts, where money and image reign supreme, the Tylers, once town royalty, soon find themselves isolated, the subject of vicious gossip and speculation. Jerry Johnson, the townie-turned-town-cop who intervenes, may be the only person in town who instinctively understands Dostoevksy's conviction, that "everyone is responsible to all men and for all men and for everything."

This mesmerizing debut novel tells the tale of a contemporary American family caught in the throes of adolescent rebellion a heartbreaking, funny, ultimately redemptive quest for love, independence, connection and grace.

Good Reads Summary


This book is painfully honest. What happens when a perfect daughter decides to completely change her life? What are the consequences for the rest of her family and siblings?


The reader will be introduced to the concept of extreme irony in this novel-the foremost being that the mother of the wayward daughter is a teacher who promotes the best possible futures for others' children. The daughter meets a secondary character, Todd, and her life disintegrates from there. The reader will wonder at the actions of the parents-there are not many attempts to curb their daughter's behavior or make her see the error of her ways. The parents are portrayed as weak and feeble. The younger daughter idolizes her elder sister. She, too, begins a downward spiral after her sister up and decides to stop being the good girl. There will be many times when the reader will wish he/she could grab the parents and shake them or tell them off; the reader will want to yell at the children and their ridiculous actions.

This novel is meant to be extremely frustrating; it should be noted that the author is very impressive to get such an extreme reaction from her readers. A reader will find the book to be well-written and carefully constructed, the author does a terrific job of planning out each event in the novel.  This novel is recommended for young adults/adults who believe every book can teach him/her something. 

4 Stars

Find this book:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
The Book Depository





Announcing the In Leah’s Wake Social Media Whirlwind Tour!

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the In Leah’s Wake eBook edition has dropped to just 99 cents this week.

What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes, including Amazon gift cards of up to $500 in amount and 5 autographed copies of the book. Be sure to enter before the end of the day on Friday, December 16th, so you don’t miss out.


To Win the Prizes

  1. Purchase your copy of In Leah’s Wake for just 99 cents on Amazon or Barnes & Noble
  2. Fill-out the form on Novel Publicity to enter for the prizes
  3. Visit today’s featured event; you may win an autographed copy of the book or a $50 gift card!
  4. BONUS: If you leave a comment on this blog post, you have another chance at $100!

...And I can win too!

Over 100 bloggers are participating in this gigantic event, and there are plenty of prizes for us too. The blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card as well. So when you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to say that I referred you, so I can get a point in the poll.


The Featured Events include:

Monday, Radio Interview with Novel Publicity! We’re kicking-off on the Novel Publicity Free Advice blog. We interviewed Terri on our radio show Sunday night and have embedded the full podcast and blogged about its highlights. Give it a listen and then leave a comment on the blog post. This is a great chance to get to know more about this inspiring and friendly author. One commenter will win an autographed copy of In Leah’s Wake. Don’t forget to enter for the other contest prizes while you’re over there!

Tuesday, Twitter sharing contest! A tweet is tiny, only 140 characters. But on Tuesday, it could win you $50. Send the following tweet across the twittersphere, and you just may win a $50 Amazon gift card. An autographed copy of In Leah’s Wake is also up for grabs. The winner will be announced Wednesday morning. Here’s the tweet: In Leah's Wake has taken the publishing world by storm. Get the book for just 99 cents http://ow.ly/7WP5H

Wednesday, Google+ sharing contest! Yup, there’s yet another awesome opportunity to win a $50 Amazon gift card, and this time it just takes a single click! Visit Google+ and share Emlyn Chand’s most recent post (you’ll see the In Leah’s Wake book cover included with it). On Thursday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. An autographed copy of In Leah’s Wake is also up for grabs. Three chances to win! How about that?

Thursday, Facebook sharing contest! Stop by Novel Publicity’s Facebook page and share their latest post (you’ll see the In Leah’s Wake book cover included with it). It’s ridiculously easy to win! On Friday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. An autographed copy of In Leah’s Wake is also up for grabs.

Friday, special contest on the author’s site! Win a $500 Amazon gift card, simply by leaving a comment on Terri’s most recent blog post. Yup, you read that correctly—$500! How easy is that? An autographed copy of In Leah’s Wake is also up for grabs.


Remember, it’s all about the books!

Terri Giuliano LongAbout In Leah’ Wake: The Tyler family had the perfect life – until sixteen-year-old Leah decided she didn’t want to be perfect anymore. While her parents fight to save their daughter from destroying her brilliant future, Leah’s younger sister, Justine, must cope with the damage her out-of-control sibling leaves in her wake. What happens when love just isn’t enough? Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the Author: Terri Giuliano Long grew up in the company of stories both of her own making and as written by others. Books offer her a zest for life’s highs and comfort in its lows. She’s all-too-happy to share this love with others as a novelist and a writing teacher at Boston College. She was grateful and thrilled beyond words when her award-winning debut literary novel, In Leah’s Wake, hit the Barnes and Noble and Amazon bestseller lists in August. She owes a lot of wonderful people – big time! – for any success she’s enjoyed! Visit her on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.


Now please enjoy this excerpt from the new edition of In Leah's Wake...



Leah’s head felt like a beach ball. She’d stay in bed all day if she could, cocooned in the blankets and sheets, but she had to pee. She dragged herself up, shivering as she threw off the covers. She’d never been this sick in her life. She probably had cancer. Oh God, she was going to barf. She dropped her head between her knees, staying put until her stomach had settled, and dragged herself to the bathroom.

She could hear her father in the kitchen, fixing breakfast. The odor of maple bacon drifted upstairs, making her gag. In a minute, he would be up here, ordering her downstairs to eat. Her team had a game this morning, at ten, which meant she had to be on the field—she checked her alarm clock—in an hour. She flopped back onto her bed, and pulled the covers defiantly over her head. No way was she playing soccer today. Not after last night, after her father freaked out.

She turned onto her side, burying her face in her pillow. Around midnight last night, Todd had retrieved a blanket from his truck, and spread it over a pillow of pine needles and leaves. She pictured him on his elbows, staring down at her, the planes of his face accentuated by the shadows. He pushed her hair away from her face.

His hand slid from her shoulder to her hips.

Todd, she whispered. Todd.

Her shades snapped up, startling her. In the harsh light, Todd’s face vanished. Hearing her name—Todd?—she rolled onto her back.

When she looked up, her father was standing over her bed.

“Time to get up, Leah. The Harvard coach is coming today.”

The nerve of that man.

She curled into a ball, pulling the covers over her head. Her father’s hand slid under the covers, and he wiggled her big toe, the way he used to when she was little. She yanked her foot back.

“Come on, kiddo,” he coaxed. “You have to get up.” He’d made blueberry pancakes. As if his stupid pancakes made up for last night.

“Go away,” she spat, her words garbled by the mountain of blankets and sheets.

“Leah, your team is—”

Who cares if you’re tired? She heard in her head. The competition is practicing, even when you’re not . . . “depending on you, Leah.” . . . dedication is what counts . . . “talk to you, honey.” . . . suck it up . . . get up, get up . . . do it . . . time to get up . . . time for soccer . . . time . . . practice . . . do it . . . just do it . . . Just do it.

Leah clapped her hands over her ears. “Go away,” she cried. “Get out. Get away from me.”

Why did her father do this to her? Why couldn’t he let her be?

“I’d like to talk to you, Leah. Please.”

“I’m not playing.” She threw off the covers. “And you can’t make me.”

The toilet flushed in the bathroom between her room and Justine’s. The faucet sputtered, and water splashed into the sink. Leah’s sister was washing her hands. Now she was brushing her teeth. Perfect little angel, never in trouble. Perfect little dork. Leah hated her sister. She hated them all—her mother, her father, Justine. Her parents didn’t care about her. They cared about controlling her. They expected perfection, wanted perfect robots for kids. Well, guess what? She wasn’t a robot. They’d have to be satisfied with just one.

“Fine.” Her father, sighing, sat on her bed. “Stay home, if that’s what you want.” He leaned forward, dropping his hands between his knees. “I blew it, baby,” he said, staring at the floor. “I’m sorry.”

Good. She had him right where she wanted him. Leah pulled the covers over her head, and raised her elbows, creating an air tunnel so she could breathe. She’d forgive her father. Eventually. First, she planned to make him suffer.

Her father’s weight shifted. She felt the spring of the mattress.

No. This wasn’t the way it went. Her father wasn’t supposed to give up. He never gave up. They talked until they’d worked things out. “Dad?” Leah shot of bed and darted out to the landing.

“Dad,” she called, leaning over the railing. “Daddy?”



By the time Zoe reached the office park, she’d worked herself into a funk. She parked her Volvo by the service entrance behind the building, in a spot reserved for tenants. Normally, she walked to her second floor office, a penitent’s offering to the exercise god she’d forsaken. This morning, anxiety fueling her fatigue, she waited for the elevator.

She’d worked for Cortland Child Services for eight years. She used to love this job. Physicians trusted her, and rewarded her with a constant flow of referrals. Too popular for a while, she’d been temporarily forced to close her practice to new patients. Now she dreaded coming to work.

Five years ago, patients treated her with respect; they’d listened eagerly and followed her advice. Today, everybody knew everything. Parents, armed with information from the Web, came to her seeking validation, letters attributing their child’s misbehavior to brilliance, drugs to give their child an edge. Zoe’s education and experience meant nothing. She was a service provider. She was tired of that game.

If she and Will could afford it, she’d leave the counseling center, build her seminars and branch out, write a book, go on the lecture circuit, where she could help thousands of people. But that was a pipedream.

She accidentally pressed “Down,” forcing her to ride to the basement and back up.

The stress at home had ratcheted her anxiety, adding to her unease. The small things she used to let slide had begun to get her: a missed appointment, a defiant gesture, an insolent remark. Doing a half-assed job made her feel crappy; these days, she felt like crap most of the time.

Zoe’s mood lifted as she opened her office door. This office, with its soft coral walls, was her sanctuary. Sunlight filtered through the blinds on the picture window, the flecks of sand in the carpet around the turtle-shaped sandbox glittering. Zoe’s grad school books lined the top shelf of a wall-to-wall bookcase. On the lower shelves were toys for the kids: cars and trucks, picture books, puzzles, stuffed animals, dolls.

From her iPod, she selected a soothing Thai instrumental piece, and logged onto her antiquated desktop computer. Her refusal to upgrade to a laptop was a running joke in the office. Zoe still handwrote her notes and transcribed them at the end of each day, the inconvenience a small price to pay for the ability to give her patients her undivided attention.

In no time, she’d printed and scanned her notes.

With ten minutes to spare before her first appointment, she decided to run check on the Corbett boy. (Last night, in her drunken stupor, Leah had blurted his name.) Zoe typed Corbett’s name in the Google dialogue box; feeling guilty, she immediately back-spaced. A Google search felt invasive, like reading her child’s diary or listening to a phone conversation. Yet how else was she to obtain information? She could hardly rely on Leah to fill her in. Other parents Googled their kids’ friends. “I do all the time,” Sheila Li, a colleague, had confided one day. “Can’t be too careful these days.” Corbett had gotten her daughter drunk and driven her home at three a.m. That revoked any right to privacy.

She tapped her desk, impatient for the page to populate.

On the first page she spotted an entry, dated July 10, 1998, the keywords Corbett and Massachusetts emboldened. Something about a drug arrest. The URL linked to an article on the Dallas Star website. Dallas? Drugs? Had to be a mistake, a misnamed file, an erroneous entry.

She hit the link, her pulse racing as she scrolled down the page.



MASSACHUSETTS MAN ARRESTED IN TEXAS DRUG BUST



EL PASO, Texas – A Massachusetts man was arrested early this morning outside the Roadhouse restaurant in downtown El Paso on suspicion of drug possession and trafficking. Todd Corbett, 21, from Massachusetts, works as a sound technician for the alternative rock band, Cobra. Jeff Jones, the band’s manager, was arrested on similar charges in November.



Insufficient evidence in the Jones case forced the district attorney’s office in El Paso to drop the charges. “We expect to hand down an indictment later today,” said Assistant District Attorney Len Ahearn. Ahearn declined further comment regarding the details of Corbett’s arrest, citing a judge’s gag order. If prosecuted, Corbett faces a sentence of up to twenty years in prison and a $10,000 fine.



A later article reported that the charges had been dismissed.

Zoe had expected to find something—a DUI, a petty theft, a drunk and disorderly—nothing like this. Leah pushed boundaries. She’d been drinking last night; she’d come in at three a.m. No way was she was mixed up with a drug dealer. She was a good kid, a talented athlete, with a bright future in front of her. She was too smart to throw it all away.

Zoe clicked back to the first article, reread it, and logged on to boston.com, the website for the Globe. In the “Metro” section of the July 11 edition, she found a single paragraph that began:

“Todd Corbett of Cortland, Massachusetts, was arrested. . .”

Reeling, she logged off. This was impossible. Zoe was a therapist. She worked with teenagers. If her daughter were involved with drugs, she would know. She’d recognize the signs. Moods? What sixteen-year-old girl wasn’t moody? Slipping grades? In high school, Zoe and Will had both flunked biology; maybe Leah had inherited the gene. Leah had missed her curfew a few times, until last night never by more than ten minutes. Granted, Leah had lied about being with Cissy. Yes, Cissy’s being MIA this last month was certainly strange. But girls fight. Junior year, Zoe’s best friend had dumped her cold, all because the girl’s crush had called Zoe “pretty.” Normal teenage behavior—all of this.

Zoe’s stomach went hollow.




Announcing the In Leah’s Wake Social Media Whirlwind Tour!

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the In Leah’s Wake eBook edition has dropped to just 99 cents this week.

What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes, including Amazon gift cards of up to $500 in amount and 5 autographed copies of the book. Be sure to enter before the end of the day on Friday, December 16th, so you don’t miss out.



To Win the Prizes

  1. Purchase your copy of In Leah’s Wake for just 99 cents on Amazon or Barnes & Noble
  2. Fill-out the form on Novel Publicity to enter for the prizes
  3. Visit today’s featured event; you may win an autographed copy of the book or a $50 gift card!
  4. BONUS: If you leave a comment on this blog post, you have another chance at $100!


...And I can win too!


Over 100 bloggers are participating in this gigantic event, and there are plenty of prizes for us too. The blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card as well. So when you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to say that I referred you, so I can get a point in the poll.


The Featured Events include:

Monday, Radio Interview with Novel Publicity! We’re kicking-off on the Novel Publicity Free Advice blog. We interviewed Terri on our radio show Sunday night and have embedded the full podcast and blogged about its highlights. Give it a listen and then leave a comment on the blog post. This is a great chance to get to know more about this inspiring and friendly author. One commenter will win an autographed copy of In Leah’s Wake. Don’t forget to enter for the other contest prizes while you’re over there!

Tuesday, Twitter sharing contest! A tweet is tiny, only 140 characters. But on Tuesday, it could win you $50. Send the following tweet across the twittersphere, and you just may win a $50 Amazon gift card. An autographed copy of In Leah’s Wake is also up for grabs. The winner will be announced Wednesday morning. Here’s the tweet: In Leah's Wake has taken the publishing world by storm. Get the book for just 99 cents http://ow.ly/7ywpZ #whirlwind

Wednesday, Google+ sharing contest! Yup, there’s yet another awesome opportunity to win a $50 Amazon gift card, and this time it just takes a single click! Visit Google+ and share Emlyn Chand’s most recent post (you’ll see the In Leah’s Wake book cover included with it). On Thursday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. An autographed copy of In Leah’s Wake is also up for grabs. Three chances to win! How about that?

Thursday, Facebook sharing contest! Stop by Novel Publicity’s Facebook page and share their latest post (you’ll see the In Leah’s Wake book cover included with it). It’s ridiculously easy to win! On Friday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. An autographed copy of In Leah’s Wake is also up for grabs.

Friday, special contest on the author’s site! Win a $500 Amazon gift card, simply by leaving a comment on Terri’s most recent blog post. Yup, you read that correctly—$500! How easy is that? An autographed copy of In Leah’s Wake is also up for grabs.


Remember, it’s all about the books!

Terri Giuliano LongAbout In Leah’ Wake: The Tyler family had the perfect life – until sixteen-year-old Leah decided she didn’t want to be perfect anymore. While her parents fight to save their daughter from destroying her brilliant future, Leah’s younger sister, Justine, must cope with the damage her out-of-control sibling leaves in her wake. What happens when love just isn’t enough? Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the Author: Terri Giuliano Long grew up in the company of stories both of her own making and as written by others. Books offer her a zest for life’s highs and comfort in its lows. She’s all-too-happy to share this love with others as a novelist and a writing teacher at Boston College. She was grateful and thrilled beyond words when her award-winning debut literary novel, In Leah’s Wake, hit the Barnes and Noble and Amazon bestseller lists in August. She owes a lot of wonderful people – big time! – for any success she’s enjoyed! Visit her on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

PRAISE FOR IN LEAH’S WAKE

Susan Straight, National Book Award Finalist, author Take One Candle Light A Room
“Terri Long’s accomplished first novel takes the reader on a passionate roller-coaster ride through contemporary parenthood and marriage. It’s sometimes scary, sometimes sad, and always tender.”

Margot Livesey, author of Banishing Verona and Eva Moves the Furniture
“I felt I knew these characters better than my friends and neighbors. In Leah's Wake is a beautifully written and absorbing novel."

Holly Robinson, Contributing writer, Family Circle, Parents, Ladies’ Home Journal, author of The Gerbil Farmer’s Daughter: A Memoir
"By turns howlingly funny and achingly sad, the book details the vivid, harrowing journey of a fragile family that unravels – and finds redemption – thanks to a teenager’s rebellion. In Leah’s Wake is an irresistible read.”

Jennifer Donovan, Managing Editor 5 Minutes for Books, Top 50 Book Blogger
“There are no quick and easy solutions here for Leah or for her parents. They . . . pulled me right along as I continued to make comparisons to my own life.”

Susie Kline, Blogger, Motherhoot
"As a mom, I felt what Zoe felt. It tore my heart out to see the promise of a child being replaced with the nightmare of reality… I’m adding Terri Giuliano Long to my list of authors I want to be stranded with."

Monica Madsen, Blogger, A Mother’s Touch Bookshelf
"I give In Leah’s Wake 5 stars and recommend reading to anyone with tweens. Although it is fiction, this book can be a great reference for parenting teenagers."

Haley Stokes, Blogger, Triumphal Writing
In Leah's Wake is beautifully written, haunting, fascinating, and a book that has a lot to say, a lot to teach you, without getting preachy.

4 comments:

  1. Wonderful review, Krystal. You really have a knack for getting at the heart of a novel. I love the pictures you add too! You never cease to amaze me, dear one :-D

    A request: Would you please cross-post this lovely review to Amazon and GoodReads to help up exposure for the wonderful Ms. Terri?

    Thank you!
    Emlyn

  1. I think the reviews are already posted there, but thanks for the reminder!

  1. Dear Krystal,

    Thank you so very, very much for your beautifully written review! You really do capture the book perfectly! Readers sometimes miss the central ironies. I especially love that you point them out. I'm also touched that you felt it evoked a strong response.

    Warmest wishes,

    Terri

  1. Thank you very much! I truly enjoyed reviewing your book