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November 20, 2018

Blog Tour: THE JOURNAL OF ANGELA ASHBY by Liana Gardner – Guest Post and Giveaway

 

Hello Readers!  Welcome to our Tour Stop for 

THE JOURNAL OF ANGELA ASHBY by Liana Gardner!

We have Liana on the blog today talking to readers about
following your dreams…

Click on the banner above to follow the rest of the tour,
and be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

I have great power.
That’s what she told me. The old fortune-teller at the school carnival.
I thought I was doing the right thing … with the magic journal she gave me. But nothing could prepare me for what happened next.
Or, for what I unleashed.

At a school carnival, a mysterious fortune-teller gives twelve-year-old Angela Ashby a journal and warns her to use it wisely. Nothing prepares Angela for the journal’s power—when she pours her heart onto its pages her desires come true.

She tests the journal by conjuring a gnome, a unicorn, and a farting fairy and then uses it to stop the school bullies in their tracks. But the unintended consequences alienate her best friend and puts her favorite teacher in danger of losing her job.

After she shares her deepest desire of all—that her parents get back together—her adversary steals the journal, and Angela fears she will use it to bring mayhem to the entire school if she doesn’t get it back.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY

 

 

Dear Reader,

The Journal of Angela Ashby explores the themes of power and consequences, bullying, divorce, friendship, and how fulfilling selfish desires may not be what you want in the long run. Some of the most fun I had while writing the book was when Tatiana, a farting fairy, popped up and refused to fade away, like the other magical creatures had. I am so glad she stuck around because she is one of those secondary characters that really help make a book shine.

Aside from the fun, I enjoyed exploring the concept of power at a Middle School level. When I was twelve, I didn’t believe I had power to do anything. Parents were in control and they made the decisions. If someone had handed me a journal and told me I had great power, to use it wisely, my reaction would have been the same as Angela’s. Yeah, right. What twelve-year-old ever had power?

Looking back, I see the power I had without realizing it. And power comes through choices. I had short-sighted vision at that point as to what power truly entails, thinking you had to be rich, successful, or at the very least, an adult. But I did have the power to make people feel better, to put a smile on someone’s face, to pursue those things I was passionate about—and there is no age limit to that kind of power.

It’s all about choice. When your friend is having a bad time of things and even though you want to go do something else, it is making the choice to listen. It’s complimenting someone on their appearance, sitting next to someone at the lunch tables when they are alone—choosing to be kind.

So what about the power to pursue your dreams? Say you have a dream to be an artist, or an astronaut, or a world-famous soccer player. Your parents won’t allow you to quit school to follow your dreams fulltime—nor should they. To achieve your dreams, you need goals—short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals. Then you need to determine the steps necessary to accomplish those goals, and make the necessary sacrifices to do it.

When I was nine, a group of friends and I decided we were going to write a novel. I thought being a novelist would be the best job in the world because I’d be doing what I loved best. The whole group got together and we’d talk about the book we wanted to write. Everyone had ideas; everyone wanted to write a particular story line. But when it came down to it, I was the only one of us who put words on the page. I made the choice to write. They made the choice to dream about it, but didn’t take the steps to make the dream become reality. I made the sacrifice to spend the time alone, butt in the chair, to scribble down what has to be one of the worst stories ever, but I loved every minute of it. I could have been out playing with the neighborhood kids, watching TV, or doing anything else.

With taking an approach to go after our dreams and make them reality, there will always be roadblocks or obstacles that will have to be overcome. That’s a choice, too. We can decide it is simply too difficult, or we are missing out on too many other things—that the goal we thought we once wanted more than anything else, simply wasn’t worth it, or we learned we didn’t really want to pursue that goal. Or we can make the decision that no matter what, we are going to do what it takes, blast through every roadblock and circumvent every obstacle, and ultimately we will succeed.

As an author, I feel like this is the biggest and best thing I can share with my readers. My choice to follow my dreams and turn them into reality, despite the roadblocks, despite the rejections, despite the obstacles. And I use my own circumstances as an illustration. My dream is to keep writing books kids will enjoy and connect with. I have a big obstacle I deal with daily, yet I have resolved to overcome the obstacle because my life is incomplete without the ability to venture into other worlds and share those characters with you. My obstacle has a name—leukemia, which is a blood cancer, and I am on a daily chemotherapy to kill off the cancer cells in my body. Despite all of the side effects, and the sometimes overwhelming fatigue, every day I choose to work on something to do with the craft of writing, whether it be reading, editing, writing, researching, or simply learning. And because I choose this, the cancer loses because I am not giving in and I’m never giving up. This gives me power.

YOU, too, have power. What choices are you going to make today?

 

About Liana Gardner

Liana Gardner is the award-winning author of 7th Grade Revolution and the Misfit McCabeseries. Daughter of a rocket scientist and an artist, Liana combines the traits of both into a quirky yet pragmatic writer and in everything sees the story lurking beneath the surface. Engaged in a battle against leukemia and lymphoma, Liana spends much of her time at home, but allows her imagination to take her wherever she wants to go.

She fostered her love of writing after reading Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and discovering she had a great deal in common with the character Jo. The making up of stories, dramatic feelings, and a quick temper were enough for her to know she and Jo would have been kindred spirits.

Liana volunteers with high school students through the International Trade Education Programs (ITEP). ITEP unites business people and educators to prepare students for a meaningful place in the world of tomorrow. Working in partnership with industry and educators, ITEP helps young people “think globally and earn locally.”

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. Audrey Stewart
    11/20/2018

    I am reading The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth.

    [Reply]

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