Monday, June 27, 2016

MIRAGE BY Tracy Clark | Book Launch | Blog Tour | Interview | Review | Giveaway

Author: Tracy Clark
Pub. Date: July 5, 2016
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Pages: 272
Format: Hardcover, eBook
Find it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Ryan Poitier Sharpe is a gutsy, outgoing girl who spends her summer days hurling herself out of planes at her parents’ skydiving center in the Mojave Desert. Fiercely independent and willing to take risks, she challenges those around her to live life fully. But after a brush with death, Ryan is severely altered—she’s not the same thrill-seeking girl she once was and seems to be teetering on the edge of psychosis. As her relationships crumble and her life unravels, Ryan must fight the girl she’s become—or lose herself forever—in this eerie and atmospheric thriller.

About Tracy:

Tracy Clark is a young-adult writer because she believes teens deserve to know how much they matter and that regardless of what they’re going through, they aren’t alone. In other words, she writes books for her teen self.

She grew up a “Valley Girl” in Southern California but now lives in her home state of Nevada, in a small town at the base of the Sierra Foothills. Her two children teach her the art of distraction and are a continuous source of great dialogue.

Tracy was the recipient of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Work in Progress Grant. A two-time participant in the prestigious Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program. Tracy is a private pilot, an irredeemable dreamer, and a spicy-chocolate connoisseur.

See far below for GIVEAWAY details... BUT FIRST... The Oracle and The Muse had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Ryan, the main character of Mirage. Hold on to your seats, folks.

TOaTM: Ryan, thank you so much for joining us here and agreeing to do this interview. First, let me just say... OMG your hair ROCKS! My daughter has really thick, curly hair. What types of hair care products or techniques do you use? Do you have a night-time hair maintenance ritual that I could use with her?

Ryan: I feel like we need to break this down to “before” and “after” what we’ll from here on out call, “the crash.” Before my little incident in the motorhome, the Mayan’s would have been jealous of the precision of my hair care calendar. I had it dialed in.

I have two words for you: HY-DRATE. I live in the Mojave Desert, so throw that fun fact into the mix, too. My hair hates it here and it lives off a steady diet of Shea butter, styling products, and my personal secret ingredient… coconut oil. Before “the crash,” I’d flat-twist my hair at night and take it out in the morning—unless I was skydiving. Desert + afro + 170 mph winds and you have a recipe for disaster. So if I were jumping I’d leave the twists in under a durag and my jump helmet and untwist them later.

After “the crash” I shaved my head. Now, I’m TWA all the way.

TOaTM: *laughs* And you are totally rocking that TWA.  Okay, moving on. What’s your biggest pet-peeve?

Ryan: Wannabes. Wannabees at anything. Don’t play at stuff. If you’re gonna do something, do it full-on. One of my favorite things about skydiving is the moment you leave the plane. There’s no going back. You’re out the door and all in and it’s all you. Commit to everything like you just jumped out of a plane.

TOaTM: Definitely words to live by. In fact, I might just post those words on my mirror. Now tell me, what was it like the first time you jumped from an airplane? Was there any apprehension, any heart in the throat feeling?

Ryan: My mom about killed my dad one time because he took a six-year old kid on a tandem skydive. That kid was me and I think he got straight-up sick of my badgering. I might have been fearful of the distance between plane and earth but I trusted my dad. I was strapped to the chest of the strongest person I knew. Things changed as I got older and saw him differently but that exposure to thrill at such a young age changed me. My boyfriend, Dom, refutes that. He says I was born this way. The first time I jumped on my own I definitely felt… not apprehension… it was more like… need.

TOaTM: I've always wanted to sky dive... ever since I saw Point Break. But, I digress.  I love that you felt a *need* to jump. Totally badass. How did you become so fearless? 

Ryan: I got 99 problems but fear ‘aint one.

TOaTM: *laughs* 

Ryan: J Kidding. I fear things. People think skydivers are altogether fearless but we’re not. Maybe we jump because there’s other things we fear more and we need to forget them for two badass minutes at a time. Most skydivers I know have one fear in common: living on a round earth with no edges. We need the edge to feel alive.

TOaTM: I hear ya. Okay, here's a curveball. Who is your favorite musical group?

Ryan: I can’t be pegged by my music. I’m all over the place. But I’m a California girl at heart and I love a band called OPM. Especially their older stuff like their album, California Poppy. It’s the right vibe of rock, reggae, with some hip-hop thrown in. I listen to them at the drop zone. There’s not a single jump, not a single jump, not a single solitary jump that doesn’t start with their song “Stash Up.” J

TOaTM: Nice. I'll have to look that song up. Everyone needs an anthem, right? What about books? What was the last book you read? Did you like it? Why or why not?

Ryan: Last book I read was Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy and hell yeah I liked it! “Go big or go home.” Best character ever.

TOaTM: What brings out your nerdy side?

Ryan: My best friend, Joe-Lo. We’ve been friends forever and I can be real with him in a way that’s different from any other relationship. We can be nerds together and nerd + nerd = cool, somehow.

TOaTM: I have a multiple choice for ya. Sort of... Which of the following do you believe in… luck, miracles, fate, destiny, karma?

Ryan: Why should I pick one? I’ve had the winds of all five blow through my life, especially lately.

TOaTM: From talking to you, you're definitely a force to reckoned with. But... everyone has a weakness. What's yours?

Ryan: I’m too sure about things. Being so damn sure means that wrongness can be a pebble in your shoe. You know it’s there but you’re so certain you’re on the right path that you don’t want to stop long enough to deal with the small pebble of doubt. When I ignore that pebble, it turns into a rock every time.

TOaTM: Interesting. *Smiles* Pebble in your shoe, huh? Great analogy. Okay, if JK  Rowling dropped you into her books, what Hogwarts House would the Sorting Hat place you in?

It’s like this: If Katniss chose Dauntless and went to Hogwarts and started her own house in the attic. That would about sum me up.

TOaTM: That's flipping' awesome! Love it. Alright... you ready... we've come to the Speed Round:

-     TOaTM: Cats or dogs?
Ryan: Tigers

-     TOaTM: Light side or dark side?
Ryan: Equal measure.

-     TOaTM: Chuck Taylors or Shell-toed Adidas?
Ryan: Vans.

-     TOaTM: Storm or Wonder Woman?
Ryan: Wonder Woman.

TOaTM: Okay. *smiles* You've been a good sport. Final question: For anyone who may look up to you and/or find your spirit and passion inspirational and badass, what’s the best big sisterly advice you could give them?

Ryan: To wholly and unapologetically BE WHO YOU ARE. I don’t care what people think they know about you. In fact, none of that matters—their opinions are usually more about them anyway. There’s not one person on this planet that knows what it’s like to be me, to have lived with the people I live with, to grow up in the circumstances that I have, or have my concoction of traits, etc. Blended all together, that means that I’m unique. None other like me. Same goes for you! Don’t let other people’s opinions take the wind out of your chute. Don’t let yourself down. Live up to the best version of yourself that you hold inside. And when the moment comes that you have to choose fear over the leap of being fully alive—freaking jump.

TOaTM: "Freaking Jump" I love that so much I might get that tattooed on my ankle. Ryan, thank you so much for stopping by. You're welcome back any time.


And NOW... here's the official TOaTM - REVIEW of MIRAGE: 

“…trumpets and neon and hot sauce.” 
That about sums up this book. Psychological. Thriller.

This story is a whisper that strikes like a velvet hammer. It defines the universal struggle to be unapologetically oneself, and to be truly seen.

Gutsy sky diver tests the limits of her mortality while being both an inspiration and a cautionary tale, simultaneously. What she finds as she draws ever closer to the precipice is truly haunting. The narrative hurtles toward a final few chapters that left me breathless.

I absolutely love Ryan to the sun and back. She’s brazen and badass, yes. But sometimes the fearlessness masks her vulnerability, which is the thread that knits together the entire tale. The author walks the line between sanity and psychosis, between dauntless fortitude and unguarded nakedness, with nimble deft.

Tour Schedule:

Week One:
6/27/2016- The Oracle and The Muse- Interview
6/28/2016- Seeing Double In NeverlandReview
6/29/2016- Teen Readers' DiaryGuest Post
6/30/2016- BookcrushinReview
7/1/2016- The Cover Contessa- Interview

Week Two:
7/4/2016- A Dream Within A DreamReview
7/5/2016- Ohana ReadsGuest Post
7/6/2016- Book-KeepingReview
7/7/2016- Curling Up With A Good BookInterview
7/8/2016- Here's to Happy EndingsReview

 And Finally... the Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of MIRAGE, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway