Guest Post/Virtual Tour ~ The Teddy Bear Eye Club by Suzanne M. Hurley

guest-post

With great excitement, I announce the arrival of my newest book – The Teddy Bear Eye Club.

Often in life we wonder if we’ll ever have the chance to meet an angel. I was lucky. I met two of them – former students of mine. I amalgamated their personalities into one, added a touch of my mother, a dash of make-believe, and they became the inspiration behind fourteen-year-old Celeste Daniels, a fictional character in my new book – The Teddy Bear Eye Club.

For over twenty-five years, I worked with teenagers as a youth minister in a church and a chaplain in a high school. Nothing gave me greater joy, then when I had an office full of teenagers hanging out, draped over the furniture, covering every inch of the carpet and pigging out on junk food. I loved their laughter, joie de vivre and excitement. I also listened to their anguish, especially over how they looked and felt, and during that time, I realized that no one was ever satisfied with their life, hair, skin, weight, accomplishments and so on.

They all appeared to have one common thread – low self-esteem.

So I set out to write a young adult book enriched with teenagers coping with their own private issues – all with poor self-esteem – all struggling. There is fourteen-year-old Mayah – a tall, lanky redhead coping with adoption issues and believing her parents lied to her. Then there is Kitty, whose mother is trying to shape her into someone she isn’t. Freddy is the good student and athlete perceived as stuck-up and Danni hates her weight, feeling she is just too darn fat.

As I began writing this story, I reflected a lot on the many hours, weeks and months that I worked with teenagers. I realized there were two students who stood out as having fantastic self-esteem – my two angels. Both had cancer. One lived, one passed away. Both were similar in their joy of life, wisdom, kindness and understanding. They touched my life and the life of many others, and there isn’t a day that goes by, that I don’t think of them. They remind me of my mother who also faced the challenge of cancer with a smile on her face and courage in her heart. They became Celeste Daniels.

So yes, Celeste has cancer in my new book, but this story is not a sad one.

It is a tale filled with joy, a heavy dose of humor, and compassion, as four young people learn to love themselves and accept themselves – just the way they are.

And that was how The Teddy Bear Club formed  –  with love and humor – inspired by courageous young people who reached for the stars.

Thank you.

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teddyFile Size: 1002 KB
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Wings ePress (June 7, 2015)
Publication Date: June 7, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Genre: Young Adult
ASIN: B00Z7J9TJC
Buy: Kindle

Depressed, fourteen-year-old Mayah Lewis hides from the world, until she befriends new girl, beautiful bald-headed Celeste Daniels.

Everything begins looking up, until one day, Celeste disappears.

 

 



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suzanneAll her life, Suzanne M. Hurley had a secret.

She loved to write, about anything and everything.

Suzanne Hurley was born in Peterborough, Ontario, where she spent most of her childhood immersed in The Hardy Boys and Agatha Christie novels. Secretly she wrote stories about murders and dead bodies and detectives who painstakingly uncovered the truth.

She attended Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario where she continued devouring every book she could get her hands on in the mystery genre, branching out into women’s fiction. Secretly, she wrote pages and pages about women facing challenges and overcoming them.

As a youth minster in a parish and a chaplain in a high school, a ministry that she loved with all her heart, she began to write about teens’ struggles, challenges and ways to overcome problems.

Eventually, combining her love of mysteries, women’s fiction and teenagers, her secret burst forth in a series of novels that embraced her passions. To date, Suzanne has written eleven novels. She is currently writing the sixth book in her mystery series, has written three women’s fiction novels and two young adult books.

No more secrets for her. She loves every minute of it.

Website * Facebook * Blog * Twitter * Goodreads

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Excerpt ~

“Oh, what’s the point?”

Fourteen-year-old Mayah Lewis threw the tube of lipstick at the mirror. It bounced off the glass, hit the wall and rolled under a stall.

She didn’t care.

She was the only one there, having sneaked out of boring Biology class when the teacher was writing their homework on the board. Mostly hating the way she looked, she didn’t like doing her makeup when anyone was around and she wanted to look good—or at least relatively okay—cuz Joey Marshall was in her next class and she had a huge crush on him. This way she had the girls’ bathroom to herself, for at least a few minutes, since no one was supposed to be in there during instruction time, unless it was a dire emergency.

She stared at her face—ugly freckles creating swirls of uneven patterns across her nose and cheeks that no amount of foundation cream seemed to cover, beady blue eyes, two zits on her chin big enough to ski down and long, wiry red hair that curled as if having a life of its own. Blue eyes were usually an asset, except hers were a dull pale blue. Not attractive in the least.

Sigh.

She dumped the rest of her make-up in her backpack, flipped her mirror image the bird, shouting out, “Forget it. It’s hopeless.”

“No, it’s not.”

What the…?

She turned to watch beautiful, blond Kitty Richards come swinging around the corner, her golden curls flying behind her.

Mayah was stunned.

She’d looked when she came in and hadn’t seen anyone, but she’d forgotten about the wheelchair accessible stall way at the back, basically because no one ever went there. Or at least that was what she’d thought, since no one was in a wheelchair in the whole school. Obviously, that was where Kitty was, which was kinda weird. She was not handicapped in the least—or at least not physically. Now, personality-wise, maybe a bit, or at least she always came across stuck-up as anything.

Crap.

Mayah had no luck whatsoever.

And why, oh why, had she picked up Isobel’s habit of talking out loud when alone? It was bad enough to agonize about her face, but to have a witness was horrifying. And especially Kitty, the most gorgeous girl in grade nine, if not the whole school. Yep, she was stereotypically tall and thin with one of those perfect complexions. No way would pimples ever take up residence there—she was a masterpiece. And to think she was smiling, looking real friendly-like.

Yeah, right.

Kitty’d never spoken to her before. She only associated with the ‘cool’ crowd, not paying any attention to the rest of the so-called losers. Today must be just a pity call, like mock the ugly girl by building her up, then ripping her down later—probably in front of a crowd of students all laughing at her.

Embarrassed, wanting to die, Mayah ignored her and tore out of the room, down the hall to a door at the back of the auditorium. She pulled out her key, inserted it, tugged it open and ran up the stairs to the projection room. This was her hideaway, for no one ever came here during the day and it was only used when there were assemblies or plays.

Opening up one of the cupboards, she dug around, lifting up a slew of brand new light bulbs that’d been stored there.

Good.

Her emergency box of chocolate chip cookies was still there.

Grabbing a few, she hid them again and plopped down on one of the old raggedy chairs, apparently purchased at a garage sale, or so the story went. Someone had dragged them up the stairs to become a permanent fixture in the small room. Ugly but comfortable, this was her refuge several times a day.

Luckily, she’d discovered it when she’d joined the sound crew at the beginning of the year. Of course, she’d only gone to two meetings before she’d realized everyone was a senior and no one was interested in the new freshman girl’s help. So she’d quit. But not before she’d secured a duplicate key, loaned to her by the head member, namely because she was the only one who had volunteered to come in extra early one morning to set up a microphone for a ‘before school’ drama rehearsal. She’d just never returned it and fortunately, he hadn’t noticed. Rumor had it that he was in possession of several illegal copies, so guess missing one of them flew under the radar. Sure that was sneaky and she’d be in big trouble if the principal ever found out, but for now, it was like her own little office—a place to hide. And that was what she was into these days—wanting to hide as much as possible, from everyone and everything.

post-divider leftTour Schedule

Tuesday, September 1

Guest Blogging at The Story Behind the Book

Wednesday, September 2

Guest Blogging at Fictional Real World

Thursday, September 3

Interview at CBY Book Club

Monday, September 7

Interview at Authors and Readers Book Corner

Wednesday, September 9

Guest Blogging at Fiction Zeal

Monday, September 14

Book Review at Laura’s Interests

Wednesday, September 16

Book Review at Undercover Book Reviews

Monday, September 21

Interview at Deal Sharing Aunt

Tuesday, September 22

Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner

Wednesday, September 23

Book Review at Book Babble

Tuesday, September 29

Book Review at A Room Without Books is Empty

Wednesday, September 30

Book Review at The Phantom Paragrapher

 

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