The Right and The Real Book Trailer Reveal & Birthday Bash

Author: Joëlle Anthony
Publisher: Putnam (April 26, 2012)
Audience: Young Adult
Fiction * Cults * Homelessness

Description from the publisher:
Jamie should have known something was off about the church of the Right & the Real from the start, especially when the Teacher claimed he wasn't just an ordinary spiritual leader but Jesus Christ himself. But she was too taken by Josh, the eldest son of one of the church's disciples, and his all-American good looks. Josh was the most popular boy at school, too, and the first boy outside the drama geeks to give Jamie a second look. But getting her dad involved in a cult was not part of the plan when she started dating Josh. Neither was her dad's marriage to the fanatic Mira or getting kicked out or seeing Josh in secret because the church has deemed her persona non grata. Jamie's life has completely fallen apart. Finding her way back won't be easy, but when her dad gets himself in serious trouble, will Jamie be ready to rescue him, and maybe even forgive him?

Today is author Joëlle Anthony's birthday and she is celebrating with the release of the book trailer for The Right and the Real:


For more information about Joëlle Anthony and wish her a happy birthday, check out the following sites:  website | facebook | twitter

Look for The Right and the Real at your local school or public library.  When possible, please consider purchasing from an Independent Bookstore.

Valentine's Week Guest Post: The Men of Maud Hart Lovelace

For those of you not familiar with Maud Hart Lovelace, what’s the matter with you? I mean…she is the wonderful author of the Deep Valley books – which include the ten-book Betsy-Tacy series, Carney’s House Party, Winona’s Pony Cart, and the stand-alone book Emily of Deep Valley.

The early Betsy books tell of a picnic filled childhood, friendships, and frolics on the Big Hill. Once the books reach the high school years, we get to pretty dresses, the dances and above all else, the beaus. Right there you know this is not your typical YA because boys are called beaus. So romantic! These books take place circa 1905-1917 and the men of Deep Valley, the fictional town where the books are mostly set, are well-dressed (think: suits), well-coifed (think: shining pompadours), and well-mannered (think: they’re as likely to bring flowers to the mothers as to the daughters).

Here’s a rundown of some of the men of Deep Valley (and beyond). Don’t tell my husband, but I’m in love with one or two of them myself.

The Betsy-Tacy books:
Tony Markham – The Tall Dark and Handsome one
Tony might possibly have been my first book crush. He’s good looking, funny, can sing, and is just a little bit bad (he smokes cigarettes and hops trains to the Twin Cities to watch baseball games). He’s the one your mother warned you about, but can’t help liking herself.

Joe Willard – The Elusive
Joe is gorgeous, independent and too stubborn for his own good. It’s too easy to hurt Joe’s feelings, which is why Betsy can never land him. Never say never though. The fourth high school book is called Betsy and Joe, and the blond man on the cover of Betsy’s Wedding looks awfully familiar.

Phil Brandish – The Snob
He's rich, drives a car in 1908 when many people have never even seen one, and thinks a lot of himself. But he’s polite, refined and if he could just find where he left his sense of humour, he might be all right.

Uncle Rudy & Mr. Ray – The Debonairs
When Betsy spends Christmas with her best friend Tib in Milwaukee, Tib’s Uncle Rudy steals her heart with his waxed mustaches, dancing, and tickets to the theater on a Sunday!

Mr. Ray is Betsy’s father and if you’re looking for upstanding, loyal, and someone who loves his family, look no further. Even as his circumference grows in middle age, he still cleans up nicely and is the most debonair man at the Melborn Hotel dances.

Marco Regali – The Romantic
Marco is the Italian young man who falls in love with Betsy in Venice. He calls her Bette, throws roses through her bedroom window, and takes her on ferry rides to islands where they picnic until sunset. Yeah, Marco is as good as he sounds.

Sam Hutchinson – The Loveable one
Sam is the romantic lead in Carney’s House Party, a book told from the point of view of Betsy’s friend, Caroline Sibley (Carney). He’s the jolly, loveable, nice to kids, kind of guy and while I didn’t fall in love with him myself, I can see why others might. To me, he makes the perfect friend though.

Emily of Deep Valley is a stand-alone book and while Betsy and some of her friends make brief appearances, they’re not really part of the story.

Don Walker – The Cad
Oh, don’t get me started. Emily likes him…a lot. But why? Oh, sure, she can really talk to him. But only when it suits him. And only when her beautiful cousin isn’t around. Run, Em, run! And I’m not giving anything away, as the reader can tell this from the very beginning, even if Emily can’t!

Jed Wakefield – The Forward Thinker
Jed is all for a social cause and he’s thinking about America’s future. He’s got his own thoughts and opinions, but he also takes into account Emily’s beliefs, circumstances, and desires. He’s one you can count on. In a way, he’s a young Mr. Ray.

There are many more beaus and male friends in all of these books, but these are the main ones. The nice thing I’m always reminded of when I revisit Lovelace’s books is that while Betsy and her friends are often similar to boy-crazy girls a hundred years later, there is always an underlying theme of girl-power too. The books ring with these messages: be true to yourself, study hard, go to college, be loyal to your friends, don’t compromise your beliefs, make something of yourself, be socially, spiritually, and politically aware, don’t settle, and follow your dreams. And all those messages are mixed in with pretty dresses, dances, and beaus.

Joëlle Anthony is the author of the young adult novel, Restoring Harmony, and her second book, The Right & the Real will be released in April 2012. Visit her website at

You can also find her on twitter: @joellewrites

Book Review: Restoring Harmony

Author: Joelle Anthony

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (May 8, 2010)

Reading Level: YA (6th grade up)

Source: ARC for review

Rating: 5 Stars

Description from GoodReads:

The year is 2041, and sixteen-year-old Molly McClure has lived a relatively quiet life on an isolated farming island in Canada, but when her family fears the worst may have happened to her grandparents in the US, Molly must brave the dangerous, chaotic world left after global economic collapse—one of massive oil shortages, rampant crime, and abandoned cities.

Molly is relieved to find her grandparents alive in their Portland suburb, but they’re financially ruined and practically starving. What should’ve been a quick trip turns into a full-fledged rescue mission. And when Molly witnesses something the local crime bosses wishes she hadn’t, Molly’s only way home may be to beat them at their own game. Luckily, there’s a handsome stranger who’s willing to help.

Restoring Harmony is a riveting, fast-paced dystopian tale complete with adventure and romance that readers will devour.

When I received the Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC) of Restoring Harmony, I was bogged down with books to read for book club or prior books for review.  In addition, work/life was just really busy.  Some books I have a gut sense that I am going to enjoy and I don't want to rush through them. I had that feeling about Restoring Harmony and I found myself carrying it around but not reading it because the time wasn't right.  Finally, I had just the right time and I devoured the book in one sitting.

Let me just start with what I liked about the book...

I have discovered that I love books with short chapters.  This may be a silly thing but it makes the book feel like a super fast read even if it takes me exactly the same time to read as any other book with the same number of pages. Additionally, it means that the book will go on my list to recommend to reluctant readers.

Another reason that this will go on my list for reluctant readers is that Anthony grabs you from the beginning and keeps you hooked in until the end.  I really don't feel that as the reader I should wade through 75 or 100 pages before the book "gets good".  My reluctant readers won't even hang in there for that many pages before giving up on the book.

My third reason for loving this book - I loved the characters.  Molly is a wonderful protagonist.  She is bright, tenacious, resourceful, and just plain likable.  She is sent out on a journey to contact her grandparents and convince them to return to Canada with her.  Molly embraces her mission and despite obstacles and set-backs plunges forward without giving up and without annoying the reader.  Molly isn't the only character I loved.  There is Spill.  You really need to read the book - you will fall in love with Spill too.  He is swoon-worthy in a very good way.  I am adding him to my list of fictional crushes.

My fourth reason for loving this book - I truly appreciate books that have a sense of community in them and adults who are not all jerks.  I realize YA is written from the perspective of teens, but not all teens hate all adults.

Just a few more things...I can share Restoring Harmony with readers from sixth grade on up.  I appreciated the timeless feel to the book, and the dialogue did not annoy me.  Have you ever read a book where the voice of the characters just irritated you?  I have and it really is a turn off - not so with this book.

Finally, the writing of the book was wonderful.  Anthony does an incredible job in describing her world, the struggles of the society, the challenges facing the characters, the emotions behind the words.  There is intensity and darkness balanced with hope.

Joelle Anthony's debut novel, Restoring Harmony, is a wonderful offering and one that I hope really gets the attention that it deserves.  I look forward to future books by this author.

Check out Joelle's blog for more information about Restoring Harmony and to listen to some related music or check out the wonderfully done book trailer.