#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