May 24, 2018

Blog Tour: Stanley & Hazel by Jo Schaffer – Interview and Giveaway


Hello Readers!  Welcome to our stop during the tour for 

Stanley & Hazel by Jo Schaffer

presented by Month9Books!

We have Jo on the blog today for a quick Q&A.

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!



A great depression has gripped the city of St. Louis in 1934. Stanley, an orphaned newsy, lives in a poor part of town hit especially hard by the economic downturn. One night, Stanley runs into Hazel, a restless debutante in waiting who has begun to question her posh lifestyle in the midst of the suffering she sees. She’s out and about without an escort and against her father’s wishes.

When they discover the body of a girl with her head bashed in by a baseball bat, the very different and separate realities of the two teens inform their decision. Together they will figure out what happened to her and bring those responsible to justice.

But getting involved with each other and digging into the secrets behind this murder earns them some powerful enemies, including a secret group seeking to rid society of all they deem “undesirable.” They’ve put into motion “The Winnowing,” a plan seeking to take over the city and enforce their will.

As Stanley and Hazel’s forbidden feelings for one another grow, their investigation turns deadly. Now, it is up to Stanley and his gang of street kids to stop Hazel from becoming the next victim.

Stanley and Hazel by Jo Schaffer
Release Date: May 15, 2018
Publisher: Month9Books

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | IndiesAmazon  | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks



Thanks so much for taking the time and spending time with us here at Chapter by Chapter!

I appreciate the invite. It’s always fun to share thoughts with other writers and readers.



Describe your book in 140 characters or less (like a Tweet)

During the Great Depression newsies and debutantes don’t mix. But Stanley and Hazel are like magnets when they meet. After they discover the body of a dead girl, they work together to uncover the corruption and secrets that led to her death.



What was your inspiration for writing this book?  Was it in a dream? A thought while taking a walk?

I watch a lot of old movies from the 1930s like The Thin Man and It Happened One Night and have always been fascinated by the juxtaposition of the glamor and poverty of The Great Depression era. So the book is a bit of an homage to those movies. The social issues that existed then are still at play now but are wearing different clothes. It seemed like it could be a fun story as well as an important one to raise these issues to the young people of today who may or may not realize that the atrocities of the past are not isolated incidences and society is perfectly capable of repeating them if we don’t learn from them. A good friend of mine and I began talking about all of this and the characters Stanley and Hazel were born.



Tell us about the main character(s).

Stanley is a scrappy young man being raised by his uncle, a cop who drinks too much. He is a newsie with dreams of being a journalist one day. He reads a lot and is plenty smart despite his social disadvantages. Stanley has a good heart, but he struggles with the bitterness that comes with his poverty and life on the streets. He and his gang of Knights keep an eye on the neighborhood and scavenge food for families in need.

Hazel lives in a mansion with her business tycoon father and wild, glamorous mother who was a flapper in her younger days. She is a socialite about to come out in society but who feels out of step with the other debutantes. Hazel has a lot of moxie. She is spoiled but kind and when she begins to understand her privileged place and the suffering of others she wants to make a difference.



Do you have a favorite quote or specific part in the book that you really love?

I like the scene where Stanley and Hazel meet for the first time in the movie theater. Their very different worlds are colliding with banter and sass but somehow you get the feeling that they belong together.


“Say, girl, do you mind removing your hat? I don’t think it was meant to be a part of the movie.”

She turned around and made a face at him.

“This isn’t just a hat, wise guy, it’s an Henri Bendel.” It sounded like “On-ree” Bendel.

Oh brother, Stanley thought. Swells named their hats?


From that point on there is a certain amount of pride and prejudice between them that feeds the tension of their growing attraction.




Was there a specific part in the book that you had an especially difficult time writing?  If so, why?

Not really. Earlier on there were some snags and complications in the plot I had to smooth out and think around but for the most part it was a lot of fun to write. However, one scene that felt more emotional to write is when Hazel is comforting her friend Sandy after losing her sister, and if you have ever lost a loved one, writing a scene like that brings up all kinds of feelings.



What sort of projects do you have going on right now.  Any new books coming out?

My publisher picked up book 2 and 3 of Stanley and Hazel so I am currently working on the sequel. Things really heat up for Stanley and Hazel, in more ways than one, from now on.

I also have three other books that are in varying stages of rewrites and edits and when I am not doing that I also sometimes help develop projects for TV and film.



It was great having you on the blog today!  We hope you’ll decide to stop by again someday, and we wish you much success!!

Thank you for having me! I hope everyone enjoys meeting Stanley and Hazel and following their journey.


[about-author author=”Jo Schaffer”]




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  1. Christy Maurer

    I just read a book with newsies in it. This sounds like ti will be really good!

  2. Sarah L

    Looks like an interesting book.
    Thanks for the contest. 

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