#16DABash DIG TOO DEEP by Amy Allgeyer + #Giveaway!

Dig Too Deep

By Amy Allgeyer
Publication date: April 1st, 2016
Category: YA

From Goodreads: With her mother facing prison time for a violent political protest, seventeen-year-old Liberty Briscoe has no choice but to leave her Washington, DC, apartment and take a bus to Ebbottsville, Kentucky, to live with her granny. There she can finish high school and put some distance between herself and her mother--her 'former' mother, as she calls her. But Ebbottsville isn't the same as Liberty remembers, and it's not just because the top of Tanner's Peak has been blown away to mine for coal. Half the county is out of work, an awful lot of people in town seem to be sick, and the tap water is bright orange--the same water that officials claim is safe to drink. When Granny's lingering cold turns out to be something much worse, Liberty is convinced the mine is to blame, and starts an investigation that quickly plunges her into a world of secrets, lies, threats, and danger. Liberty isn't deterred by any of it, but as all her searches turn into dead ends, she comes to a difficult decision: turn to violence like her former mother or give up her quest for good. 

DIG TOO DEEP was a great look at the current water crises all over this country due to Mountaintop Removal mining. In fact, every time I see a post by Erin Brockovich on Facebook, I'm immediately reminded of DIG TOO DEEP, as not only is this story a reality for many, many people at the moment, but it's also informative as to how the mining culture feels the way they do about speaking against everything. (And how the water contamination can get to be so bad, so fast!)

Another thing I appreciated about DIG TOO DEEP was how the main character, Liberty, stood up for what she believed in, even though it wasn't the safe or easiest decision. Between the writing, the dynamic between a few of the characters (Liberty and her grandmother, especially) and getting a taste of the great Kentucky setting, I found DIG TOO DEEP to be informative, articulate, interesting, and a downright frustrating, wonderful book. I was excited to talk to Amy about DTD, and asked,

What are the difficulties/struggles/or rewards of writing about such a real life, complex topic?

Her response:

This is such a great question because part of what drew me to the issue of Mountaintop Removal mining is that it *is* so very complex.

It’s clear that Mountaintop Removal mining is disastrous for the environment. And it’s become evident that there are very serious health issues associated with living near MTR mines.

But at the same time, the people in these communities depend on the mines for jobs. Often, mining jobs are the highest paying jobs in the area. The money from mining jobs doesn’t just help families of mine workers. It also helps the local businesses where they shop. Mine jobs often pay enough that the families have some disposable income, which creates a market for bookstores and hair salons, home improvement contractors and house cleaners—businesses that otherwise might not even exist in these areas. So mining jobs create other jobs.

But…people are dying in these communities because of the mines. Cancer, gall bladder issues, birth defects and stillbirths. These are lives literally lost because of Mountaintop Removal mines.

The bottom line: MTR mines keep towns alive at the same time they’re killing the residents. It’s a savage sort of irony. And when you add in the coal companies’ drive for profit, the crippling poverty in the area, the deep pockets of coal lobbyists which sway the government from enacting protective measures that might force coal mines to find safer ways to extract coal…it’s a very complex and difficult situation.

I love writing about heavy issues with no clear right and wrong. Putting a character, like Liberty, through the difficult process of choosing where to make her stand creates amazing tension. And I think those moments really resonate with people…especially teens, who grapple with figuring out who they are and what they stand for on a daily basis. The difficulty in writing about complex issues, though, is that there will always be people who disagree with your story—people who think you got it totally wrong. And as a writer, that’s an uncomfortable place to be.

Whew! I'm so glad she loved writing about this, because it's something we ALL need to be more aware of. :(

About Amy:

The youngest of seven kids, Amy has been writing stories since she first learned to make her letters face the right way. Her work has appeared in Family Fun, A Fly in Amber and Stories for Children. As an architect, she spends her days restoring hundred-year-old homes in Boise where she lives with her son, a feral house cat, and a fake owl named Alan. She hates chocolate, but loves vegetables. She also loves travelling to foreign lands and the smell of honeysuckle on humid Southern nights. 

Amy's Website | Twitter | InstagramGoodreads

And now, for a giveaway! Amy is giving away a hard copy of DIG TOO DEEP and some swag to one winner (US only)! I highly recommend entering this (or picking up a copy for yourself--it's so pretty) DTD is a bit of an underrated book, I think, and was easily a four-and-a-half star read. Aside from a bit of profanity and talk of drugs, I'd recommend it to anyone 12 and up.

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Wanting to check out more 2016 debut authors? Here's the schedule for the entire month of June! (Blogs not hyperlinked yet, sorry!)

June 1st

My Book Addiction - Kristy Acevedo

SleepsOnTables – Michele Bacon

Adventures in Writing – Jennifer DiGiovanni

Sci-Fi and Scary - Margaret Dilloway

YaReads - A. E. Conran

BookCatPin - Anna Michels

June 2nd

Alice Reeds – Sarah Alexander

The Hermit Librarian – Anna Breslaw

Me, Myself, and I - Melissa Gorzelanczyk

Pulp and Mystery Shelf – Kim Savage

With Love for Books - Kat Helgeson

June 3rd 

Let Me Tell You A Story - Amy Allgeyer

Gabriella M Reads – Tobie Easton

Bookish Wanderlove – Emily Martin

Brittany's Book Rambles - Robin Reul – Guest Post

Kirstyes - Books, Occupation - Magic! - Jennifer Mason-Black

Diane’s Book Blog – Michael Miller

Pimples, Popularity, and Protagonists – R.S. Grey

June 4th

Ink Sisters Write – Brooks Benjamin

21st Century Once Upon A Times – Lucy Keating

With Love for Books – Amber Smith

Swoony Boys Podcast - Mia Siegert

Vi3tBabe – Judy Sheehan

June 5th  

Diane’s Book Blog – Sarah Ahiers

 Cover2Cover - Kerry Kletter

 The Candid Cover - Jenny Moyer

 Lost in Lit – Katherine Fleet

 Alice Reeds - Jenny Manzer

 June 6th 

 Gabriella M Reads - Ami Allen-Vath

 Two Chicks on Books - Nicole Castroman

 Lisa Loves Literature – Janet B. Taylor

 Downright Dystopian – Jeff Garvin

 June 7th 

The Hardcover Lover - Ashley Herring Blake 

Here's to Happy Endings - Meg Leder

 Vox Libris – Catherine Lo

 YaReads – Scarlett Kol

 The Book Cellar - Julie Hammerle

 Ink Sisters Write - Kenneth Logan

 Pimples, Popularity, and Protagonists – Jenna Welch

 June 8th 

Go Read A Book - Natalie Blitt

 Curling Up With A Good Book - Lindsey Klingele

 Across the Bookiverse - Kathy MacMillan

 The Reading Nook Reviews - Rebecca Podos 

June 9th 

The Book Beacon - Andrew Brumbach

The Turning Pages – Shannon M. Parker

 Book Lovers Life - Patrick Samphire

 Bibliophilia, Please - Gordon Jack

 June 10th 

With Love for Books - Harriet Reuter

Hapgood the bookdragon - Marisa Reichardt

 Cue My Muse - Laura Shovan

 Rockin' Book Reviews – Bryan Methods

 June 11th 

Kirstyes - Books, Occupation - Magic! - Kiran Millwood Hargrave 

Arctic Books – Laura Tims

Book Lovers Life - Sarah Schauerte Reida

 June 12th 

Bibliophilia, Please - Julie Eshbaugh

Mundie Kids – Robin Yardi

YaReads – Martine Lewis

June 13th 

Little Book Heaven - Michelle Andreani

YaReads – Carrie Firestone

 Me, Myshelf, and I – Peter HoffMeister

 Emily Reads Everything – Emily Skrutskie

 June 14th 

Downright Dystopian - Christian McKay Heidicker

Brittany's Book Rambles - Kerri Maniscalco

Platypire Reviews – Nanci Turner Steveson

June 15th 

My Book Addiction – Jennie K Brown

 Sci-Fi and Scary - Jennifer Bardsley

June 16th 

Milky Way of Books – Ava Jae

Rachel's Book Reviews – Jeff Zentner

June 17th 

Write Writing Written - Lily Anderson

Two Chicks on Books – Kim Zarins

Pink Polka Dot Books - Heather Smith Meloche

June 18th 

Pimples, Popularity, and Protagonists – K.C. Held

Wishful Endings – Elizabeth Briggs

Cue My Muse - Lee Gjertsen Malone

June 19th 

Read.Sleep.Repeat. - Rahul Kanakia

YaReads – Dee Romito

With Love for Books – Jessica Taylor

 June 20th 

YaReads – Kurt Dinan

A Perfection Called Books – Erin Summerill

21st Century Once Upon A Times - Riley Redgate

My Book Addiction - Janet Sumner Johnson

June 21st 

YaReads - J. Keller Ford

What's Write About This – Erin Teagan

Alice Reeds - Aditi Khorana

Latte Nights Reviews – Mia Garcia

June 22nd 

Pink Polka Dot Books – Emily France

Emily Reads Everything - Sonya Mukherjee

YaReads - Everly Frost

Little Book Heaven - Paula Garner

June 23rd 

Latte Nights Reviews - Kathleen Glasgow

Bookish Wanderlove - Karen Hattrup

 June 24th 

My Bookish Year – Erica M Chapman

The Eater of Books! – Julie Buxbaum

The Book Cellar - Jill Diamond

YaReads - Dana Elmendorf

June 25th 

Pretty Deadly Reviews - Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

My Book Addiction - Erin Petti

SleepsOnTables - Parker Peevyhouse

The Phantom Paragrapher - Julie Leung

June 26th 

The Book Cellar - Evangeline Denmark

 The Reading Nook Reviews – Kathryn Purdie

 Gabriella M Reads – Stephanie Scott

 Read.Sleep.Repeat. - Lisa A. Koosis

 June 27th 

The Book Beacon - Claire Fayers

YaReads - Cheryl Blackford

Bookish Wanderlove - Jenn P. Nguyen

Bibliophilekid - Emily Cox and Nicole Allen

BookCatPin - Laura Stampler

June 28th 

Pandora’s Books - Audrey Coulthurst 

My Book Addiction – Abby Cooper

Downright Dystopian – Katie Kennedy

Hannah Plus Books – Tom Crosshill

Book Lovers Life - Cynthia Reeg

June 29th 

Media Geeks Unite - Tricia Clasen 

Tigersbooksandme - Destiny Soria

Mindjacked – Margot Harrison

books are love - Caleb Roehrig 

Emily Reads Everything - Janet McNally

Platypire Reviews – Tara Sims

YaReads - Isabel Bandeira 

June 30th 

On Starships and Dragonwings – Traci Chee

Doodle's Book Reviews - Meghan Rogers

Pandora’s Books - Kathleen Burkinshaw

Bibliophilia, Please - Bridget Hodder

Swoony Boys Podcast - Krystal Sutherland

 Alice Reeds - Karen Fortunati

 My Book Addiction - Mike Grosso

 The Reading Nook Reviews - Lindsey Roth Culli

Book Lover’s Life– Abigail Johnson

YaReads – Sarah Glenn Marsh

What's Write About This - Wade Albert White

Waiting on Wednesday {129}: United (Alienated, #3)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine. This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is: United.

United (Alienated, #3)


By Melissa Landers

Publication date: August 2, 2016

From Goodreads:

After thwarting a deadly coup and saving the alliance between their worlds, Cara and Aelyx have finally earned a break. Their tiny island colony is everything they dreamed it would be―days spent gathering shells on the beach and nights in each other’s arms.

But the vacation is short-lived.

The treaty between Earth and L’eihr has awakened an ancient force that threatens to destroy them all. The Aribol, mysterious guardians charged with maintaining interstellar peace, deem the alliance a threat to the galaxy. They order a separation of the races, decreeing humans and L’eihrs must return to their own planets within the month or face extinction. In fact, they already have agents in place on Earth, ready to begin.

With the clock ticking, Aelyx and Cara assemble a team of colonists and race back to Earth, where they unite with old friends to solve the mystery of who the Aribol are, what they want, and the real reason the alliance has provoked them. As tensions build to a full-scale war, Aelyx and Cara must fight harder than ever―not just for their future, but for the survival of both their worlds.

Waiting on Wednesday {128}: Paper Planes and Other Things We Lost

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine. This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is: Paper Planes and Other Things We Lost.

Paper Planes and Other Things We Lost

Paper Planes and Other Things We Lost

Mindy Hayes & Michele G. Miller

Publication date: June 2016

From Goodreads:

On June 18, 1993, Flight 397 crashed off the coast of Long Island. But this story isn’t about the crash. Not completely.

This is a story about two high school seniors living very different lives, who share one connection: they both lost parents on that fateful flight.

Slowly, letters bridge the gap between California and Pennsylvania as Ruby Kaminski and Brett Pratt find a way to remember the past while looking toward the future.

This is a story about hope, paper planes, and the other things they lost.

THE LONELY ONES review tour by Kelsey Sutton (+ giveaway!)

The Lonely Ones
The Lonely Ones by Kelsey Sutton
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Published by: Philomel
Published on April 26th, 2016


Purchase Links:

Penguin Random House | Indiebound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon 

With parents too busy to pay her attention, an older brother and sister who would rather spend their time with friends, and peers who oscillate between picking on her and simply ignoring her, it’s no wonder that Fain spends most of her time in a world of her own making. During the day, Fain takes solace in crafting her own fantastical adventures in writing, but in the darkness of night, these adventures come to life as Fain lives and breathes alongside a legion of imaginary creatures. Whether floating through space or under the sea, climbing mountains or traipsing through forests, Fain becomes queen beyond – and in spite of – the walls of her bedroom. In time, Fain begins to see possibilities and friendships emerge in her day-to-day reality. . . yet when she is let down by the one relationship she thought she could trust, Fain must decide: remain queen of the imaginary creatures, or risk the pain that comes with opening herself up to the fragile connections that exist only in the real world? Told in breathless and visual verse, THE LONELY ONES takes readers through the intricate inner workings of a girl who struggles to navigate isolation and finds friendship where she least expects it.

About the Author: Kelsey Sutton is the author of teen novels SOME QUIET PLACE and GARDENIA. She is also the author of two novels for middle grade readers, THE LONELY ONES and BENJAMIN. She lives in Minnesota, where she received a dual bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from Bemidji State University. She is currently working on a master’s degree from Hamline University. Her work has received an Independent Publisher Book Award, an IndieFab Award, and was selected as a Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2013. When not writing, Kelsey can be found watching too much Netflix, ordering a mocha at the nearest coffee shop, or browsing a bookstore. You can like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @KelseyJSutton.  Goodreads | Facebook | Website


I don't read many verse novels, but Kelsey's THE LONELY ONES was a special trip into the mind of a young girl who's felt alone for way too long. With her parents struggling in their relationship and her father searching for an elusive job, a tension clouds the entire household, making everyone pull away from each other.

Fain struggles to feel accepted. Not just by her older siblings who suddenly no longer have time for her, but by her peers. She dives into words because they are her escape, her way of explaining her feelings, her place of comfortability. No judging, no loneliness there. It works.

Along with the words that save her, she also finds solace in the group of monsters that come find her each night. They go on adventures; help her feel special. Normal. Wanted.

As in any situation where emotions are involved, factors added to Fain's daily life complicate the equation she's grown comfortable with. She meets a new friend. An acquaintance steps out of the woodwork. In time, she opens up, reveals more of herself, lets others in. The need to be alone, to stay in her own little world all of the time, to step out every night with the monsters, starts to thaw out.

But, kids will be kids. The social hierarchy isn't lost on Fain; in fact, she sees it all (or... thinks she does). As things twirl and swirl into new situations--a family emergency that causes everyone reevaluate their place, Fain betrayed and put in a bad situation. New pages are turned. Her family starts to find themselves again, and Fain gains a courage she hasn't had in a long time. As the story ends, everything Fain's gone through enables her to be stronger, smarter, and more confident.

THE LONELY ONES is a beautifully written verse novel about hope, love, family, and the struggle to stay true to yourself. It's a quick read, and would be appreciated by all ages.

Read below for an excerpt from The Lonely Ones


Claws scrape 
against my window sill. 

Then, a voice,
raspy, childlike, familiar.

It calls my name
and becomes a symphony.

"Fain, are you coming?”
“Come with us, Fain!”
“Wake up!”
“Open your eyes, Fain!” 

I try to be firm,
I try to say no. 

There’s a voice in my head
that whispers I’m getting too old
for these games and adventures.

The ground is so thick with mud
that someone could 
notice my tracks.

But my little friends persist
again and again.

Their pleas batter
against my resolve,
until debris crashes down
and I am too weak to resist.

The unbearable truth is
no one will notice my tracks
because no one notices anything.

I take one of their scaly hands,
a feather tickles against my cheek.
Then I climb outside
and disappear into the night.

The Giveaway: 2 signed copies of The Lonely Ones by Kelsey Sutton, open to US and Canada
  a Rafflecopter giveaway
Follow the rest of the tour!

May 3rd
May 4th
May 5th
May 6th
May 7th
May 8th
May 9th

Audiobook giveaway + May's LFT

I'm doing a flash audiobook giveaway of IF I SPEAK TRUE! Also, considering how crazy-busy everything is this time of the year, I thought I'd put together a post sharing what's coming up, rather than and end-of-the-month, what's already passed. (That's where the LFT comes in, which stands for May's "looking forward to".)

So, first, the audiobook giveaway:

I'm giving away a total of THREE audiobooks of IF I SPEAK TRUE, book one in the Flora series. This giveaway is going to be posted on more than one platform, with ONE audiobook given away here on Rafflecopter, one on Facebook, and one on Instagram. It's a quick, two-day giveaway, just for fun. (Psst: if the series has sparked your interest, the ebooks--Rowan's novella, especially--are quite fairly-priced. :D )

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Next, here's a giveaway that ends in two days... Beth Revis' PAPER HEARTS series (original post):


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and, coming up this month...

May 7th: My 19th wedding anniversary! Oh, wait.

May 7th: The Lonely Ones by Kelsey Sutton excerpt. Find Kelsy and/or The Lonely Ones on:

Goodreads | Twitter: @KelseyJSutton | Facebook | Website

Coming up the entire month of June: YA Reads' DEBUT AUTHOR BASH! (Sign-ups are closed, but if you'd like to get an idea of just how many awesome-sauce YA authors will be featured this year, check out this post.)

Dig Too Deep

I'll be featuring Amy Allgeyer, author of DIG TOO DEEP, on June 3rd!

And that's about it! :) Have a blessed week!

Waiting on Wednesday {127}: The Museum of Heartbreak

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine. This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is: The Museum of Heartbreak.

The Museum of Heartbreak

The Museum of Heartbreak

by Meg Leder

Publication date: June 7, 2016

From Goodreads:

In this ode to all the things we gain and lose and gain again, seventeen-year-old Penelope Marx curates her own mini-museum to deal with all the heartbreaks of love, friendship, and growing up.

Welcome to the Museum of Heartbreak.

Well, actually, to Penelope Marx’s personal museum. The one she creates after coming face to face with the devastating, lonely-making butt-kicking phenomenon known as heartbreak.

Heartbreak comes in all forms: There’s Keats, the charmingly handsome new guy who couldn’t be more perfect for her. There’s possibly the worst person in the world, Cherisse, whose mission in life is to make Penelope miserable. There’s Penelope’s increasingly distant best friend Audrey. And then there’s Penelope’s other best friend, the equal-parts-infuriating-and-yet-somehow-amazing Eph, who has been all kinds of confusing lately.

But sometimes the biggest heartbreak of all is learning to let go of that wondrous time before you ever knew things could be broken.

Beth Revis' Paper Hearts Tour (writing & marketing advice + giveaway)

Bird by Bird meets Save the Cat in this new writing advice book by NY Times bestselling author Beth Revis. With more than 100000 reads on Wattpad, this newly expanded and rewritten edition features 350 pages of content, including charts and a detailed appendix. 


Fight the blank page. 

When it comes to writing, there's no wrong way to get words on paper. But it's not always easy to make the ink flow. Paper Hearts: Some Writing Advice won't make writing any simpler, but it may help spark your imagination and get your hands back on the keyboard.

Practical Advice Meets Real Experience

With information that takes you from common mistakes in grammar to detailed charts on story structure, Paper Hearts describes:

-How to Develop Character, Plot, & World

-What Common Advice You Should Ignore 

-What Advice Actually Helps 

-How to Develop a Novel

-The Basics of Grammar, Style, & Tone

-Four Practical Methods of Charting Story Structure 

-How to Get Critiques and Revise Your Novel

-How to Deal with Failure

... And much more!

BONUS! More than 25 "What to do if..." scenarios to help writers navigate problems in writing from a NY Times Bestselling author who's written more than 2 million words of fiction.

Tip 1: Join the community.

Additional details:

You do not live in a bubble. Writing can feel like a solitary endeavor, but marketing is absolutely not. If you want to sell books, you can’t expect to just tell people to buy your book and have them give you money. Instead, approach the book world like a community—and join it. Show up to book signings at your local bookstore. Join writing groups and organizations, and volunteer your time or participate in programming. Get online and contribute to the conversations—don’t just shout at the world to buy your book, join the community. People don’t want an advertisement, but they’re happy to support community members.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Learn more at BethRevis.com

Paper Hearts, Volume 1: Some Writing Advice on Goodreads

Purchase Paper Hearts, Volume 1: Some Writing Advice: Amazon Kobo Barnes & Noble The Book Depository

Follow along with the rest of the tour at the Paper Hearts Tour Headquarters, or follow Beth Revis on Twitter!