Welcome to the blog tour for Breaking Glass by Lisa Amowitz from Spencer Hill Press. You can visit the rest of the stops on the tour here. My stop today features an interview with Lisa, my review, and a tour-wide giveaway, which you can enter below. Spencer Hill Press is also making available an illustrated preview of Breaking Glass. The link for that is below also. Thanks so much for stopping by!
by Lisa Amowitz
Published: July 9, 2013
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Source: ARC received by publisher for honest review.
On the night seventeen-year-old Jeremy Glass winds up in the hospital with a broken leg and a blood alcohol level well above the legal limit, his secret crush, Susannah, disappears. When he begins receiving messages from her from beyond the grave, he’s not sure whether they’re real or if he’s losing his grip on reality. Clue by clue, he gets closer to unraveling the mystery, and soon realizes he must discover the truth or become the next victim himself.
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Interview with Lisa Amowitz author of Breaking Glass from Spencer Hill Press
Hi Lisa, thanks so much for stopping by today.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi there! Thanks so much for having me. Here goes—I’m a mom of an almost college freshman and an almost college graduate (which at the time of this interview, hopefully is an ACTUAL college graduate). I started writing when my youngest was nine after reading her the first three Harry Potter novels in their entirety—with a British accent.
After all of this frenetic reading, I realized a few things about myself. One, I do a lousy British accent, and two, I was mad over Harry and had an intense desire to write a story of my own. Plus, I wanted something to illustrate.
My background is actually in art and design. I hold a BFA in Illustration and an MFA in Painting. In my alter-ego I am a full-time professor of graphic design at Bronx Community College, a job I cherish (hi students! I love you!).
To make a long-winded story short—I wrote a horrible book that went nowhere. I did some nice artwork to go with it, but that went nowhere, too. Fast forward umpteen years later—I have finished six books to date (Breaking Glass is my fifth. Vision, my sixth comes out from Spencer Hill Press in 2014) and have also embarked on a career as a cover designer. I’ve done quite a few, such as Extracted, Awoken and Swamp Angels for Spencer Hill Press and Copper Girls for Spence City. I also did the Binding Stone for Lisa Gail Green. There are a lot more in the works, but I’ll keep those to myself for now! And I should mention—I got to design the cover for Breaking Glass. How awesome is that? That’s because my publisher, Spencer Hill Press is that awesome.
Where did you get your idea for Breaking Glass?
Sometimes ideas just sort of land on my shoulder like dandruff. Breaking Glass is one of those ideas I saved for a rainy day. I had wanted to call it Spectacular originally. I knew I wanted it to be about a boy with such a strong obsession for a girl, he would summon her from the dead just to be with her. That was all I knew for the longest time, until I sat down over a year or more later to finally write it. Is it part of a series? Currently, the book is a stand alone. Initially my very enthusiastic editor Vikki Ciaffone wanted it to be a four book series! I balked, because I didn’t see how I could get four YA books out of Jeremy since he actually turns 18 at the end of the book. But now, with New Adult becoming all the rage, I’m open to a sequel. Nothing is set in stone..it really depends if enough people like Breaking Glass to ask for more.
How did you come up with the title?
Glass is my main character’s last name. He’s pretty much falling apart, so the book kind of named itself!
Can you tell us a little bit about Jeremy and Susannah?
Jeremy Glass is a boy with a deep obsession— he can’t tell anyone how he pines for the beautiful Susannah Durban because she is his best friend Ryan’s girlfriend of over three years and he is bound by the “guy code of honor”. But Jeremy is convinced that he is the better choice for Susannah. Ryan cheats on her and Jeremy is guilt-ridden over keeping his friend’s secrets. Jeremy may be the smartest kid in the school and the fastest runner, but he has a fatal flaw, which could very well be the death of him.
And Susannah may or may not be the girl of Jeremy’s dreams he’s always wanted to believe. In his quest to find out what really happened to Susannah, Jeremy uncovers some Susannah has been keeping some dark secrets of her own.
What is your favorite scene or quote from Breaking Glass?
I don’t want to give too many spoilers, so let’s go with this scene at the end of chapter two:
Outside my room I hear voices speak rapidly in urgent tones, too low to understand but loud enough to recognize. It’s Patrick Morgan, esquire, talking to Dad. I’d know his booming voice anywhere. Ryan’s uber-influential father is probably here to make sure the Morgan interests are safeguarded—as in Ryan’s name is kept clean. He had to have heard my outburst and now Dad is most likely supplicating himself and pleading for forgiveness on my behalf to the Almighty.
Clouds of cotton breeze over me, my eyes closing. The drugs are claiming me again. I almost forget Ryan is still here, beside me.
“That’s not what we fought about, Jer,” he says softly.
Behind my closed lids, I still see only Susannah’s face. “Then where the hell is she, Ryan?”
What are your three greatest strengths?
I refuse to give up when I set my mind to something. I am creative and think fast on my feet. I have a ridiculous abundance of chutzpah (translation: I am a nervy person—never afraid to speak up to anyone).
What are your three greatest weaknesses?
I tend to be hyperactive. I can be overly excitable. I have a ridiculous abundance of chutzpah.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
See the intro paragraph for more details—but I should add to that. I have always liked words (which I probably why I like to talk so much). I was great in English class and though I did not become a big reader until the end of high school, I think I made up for lost time. There has always been a strong connection between my art and written works. When I graduated college I started writing something—this went on and on until I had my first child. Nothing ever got finished, so I set it all aside and figured that was the end. But becoming a mom taught me how to get more done. When I picked up writing again, I did so with the new discipline to finish what I started. And there you have it.—never underestimate the power of a mom to get stuff done.
What are your current projects?
I am currently working on a semi-autobiographic young adult murder mystery WITHOUT, I repeat WITHOUT any paranormal elements. But I promise, even though there will be nothing supernatural, there will be more than enough creepitude.
If you had to sum up Breaking Glass in a tweet, what would it say?
Jeremy Glass is so obsessed with Susannah that he calls for her from beyond the grave because he misses her so much.
This or That:
E-books or print copies? Ebooks lately, but print books always.
Facebook or Twitter? Twitter first, Facebook second
Coffee, tea, or Coke? COFFEE always, tea sometimes, Coke NEVER—it’s poison
Dark chocolate or milk chocolate? Dark chocolate
Thank you so much for stopping by today Lisa. It was great having you!
My Review: Jeremy Glass has been in love with his best friend's girlfriend since 9th grade. Rather than tell her how he feels, he puts on his mask, sucks it up, pretends it doesn't bother him. After all, it is completely wrong to go after your best friend's girlfriend, especially when your kind of a Geek and he's one of the most popular guys in school. He settles instead on being Susannah's friend. What really bothers him the most, is covering up for Ryan when he cheats on Susannah behind her back, which he has done quite a few times. Susannah shows up after a play Ryan is in one night, when she is supposedly out of town, and catches Ryan in the act, despite Jeremy's attempts to keep her from walking in on it. She takes off, Ryan follows, and Jeremy follows them. This is the night that everyone's life changes forever. Jeremy has been drinking, and when he pulls over after seeing Susannah and Ryan, he isn't sure what is going on. The next thing he knows he is waking up in the hospital with his leg held together by pins and rods after being hit by a truck, and no one knows where Susannah is. When days turn to weeks, and weeks turn to months, Jeremy is determined to find out what is going on, while trying to deal with the pain of his shattered leg and shattered dreams. His problems that he has hidden so well for so many years seem to come to the surface, forcing him to look at his past, as well as his present, and his future going forward. Secrets are revealed, friendships are tested, and when Susannah starts seemingly speaking to Jeremy from beyond the grave, things really get weird. Jeremy isn't sure if it is real or if he is losing his mind. Nevertheless, he is determined to push past his own problems and find out just what has happened to Susannah.
Breaking Glass is thrilling, mysterious, and somewhat dark. The book is told primarily from Jeremy's point of view, except for a few segments near the end. It is set up in a "then" and "now" perspective, which works really well, letting you see into the past, as well as the present. The plot is intense, creepy, and thrilling. I really liked Jeremy's character. He's goes through so much in this book, yet maintains his sense of humor despite all the horrible things that happen to him and are going on around him, and despite the fact that he is pretty messed up himself. As the mystery unfolds, Lisa Amowitz takes you on a journey with twists and turns along the way that you never see coming. Just when I thought I had something figured out, Lisa Amowitz would take things in a different direction. This made for quite an entertaining read. Small town secrets that go back for years are revealed, mysteries unravel, new friendships are formed, and then the paranormal element takes things to a whole new and kind of scary level. If you love a good suspenseful thriller with a paranormal aspect and a little romance, which is intriguing, mysterious, and keeps you turning the pages to see what happens next, then Breaking Glass is something I would recommend checking out.
Lisa Amowitz was born in Queens and raised in the wilds of Long Island, New York where she climbed trees, thought small creatures lived under rocks and studied ant hills. And drew. A lot.
When she hit her teens, she realized that Long Island was too small for her and she needed to escape. So she went to college in Pittsburgh. Go figure.
On leaving college, Lisa became a graphic designer living in New York City. She eventually married her husband of a zillion years, had two lovely children, and was swept away to a fairy tale life in the Bronx, where, unbelievably there are more trees and wilderness than her hometown. She can see the Hudson River from her kitchen window.
Lisa has been a professor of Graphic Design at her beloved Bronx Community College where she has been tormenting and cajoling students for nearly seventeen years. She started writing eight years ago because she wanted something to illustrate, but somehow, instead ended up writing YA. Probably because her mind is too dark and twisted for small children.
BREAKING GLASS which will be released in July, 2013 from Spencer Hill Press, is her first published work. VISION, the first of the Finder series will be released in 2014, along with an unnamed sequel in the following year. LIFE AND BETH will also be released in the near future, along with graphic novel style art.
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(1)custom pendant like the one pictured on the book cover
(2) signed ARCS
(1) original work of Breaking Glass related art created and signed by the author.
SHP is also making available a free download of SHARDS, which is an illustrated preview of BREAKING GLASS.
Here is the cover of SHARDS: