Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Hi, all,

I hope you are all enjoying the holiday season. It certainly is a time for joy and celebration. Since most of you know that I truly believe in positive thinking, there are times when we must be aware of certain atrocities in life ... for one ... bullying. This negative action has become COMPLETELY out of control. I have read about bullied children committing suicide! This must STOP! We must ALL be aware and prepare our children.

Sadly bullying happens EVERYWHERE. Not only in the schoolyards, but also in the home. This kind of abuse is much more common than you could ever imagine. So today I am host to my very good friend and amazing author Susan Oloier and her newest novel OUTCAST. Also today is a character interview with  Rebecca Green Gasper's book BREAK FROM YOU.

So please show your support and be AWARE of bullying.... SPEAK OUT AGAINST IT!

Here's the blurb from OUTCAST ...

Noelle dreams of a different life, one where Trina Brockwell doesn’t exist. Trina has bullied Noelle since junior high. Now she’s tired of it. With the help of her black-sheep aunt and a defiant new classmate, Noelle seeks revenge. But vengeance comes with a price: Noelle risks friendship, her first love, and herself to get back at those who have wronged her.

You can find Susan's book on these sites ...

Here is the blurb from BREAK FROM YOU...

Love shouldn’t hurt this much…Brooke Myers wants to believe she has it all: the perfect guy, the perfect relationship, the perfect life. She wants to believe it so much that she's willing to overlook the fear, the isolation, and the pain her boyfriend has caused her. She knows it isn't right but tells herself that love isn't always easy. However, when a fire destroys the restaurant during homecoming dinner, she forms an instant bond with the boy who saves her, one her boyfriend wouldn’t like. With the pain of a concussion reminding her of how bad things can get, she is forced to re-evaluate the relationship she has with her boyfriend and face the ghosts that haunt her. Brooke once believed love was all it took…but is it enough? Is it truly love when you've lost yourself in it?

  Now for the interview...

Outcast’s Noelle Stark interviews Brooke Myers from Break from You

Noelle: Brooke, you’ve really shown a vulnerable side in Break from You. How does it feel knowing the entire world can read the story of your life and the details of your relationship with Drew?

Brooke: I guess it’s a good thing. I need to share my story. Can I ask you the same thing? How do you feel knowing the world will hear your story and the details of your family, your life?

Noelle: Well, I’m not proud of some of the things I’ve done. And at times I feel like the Kardashians, letting the whole world into my private business. But I think other teens can learn from my mistakes. That being said, what words of wisdom would you share with another girl who’s going through dating abuse? 

Brooke: Get help. Talk to your parents. And listen to your friends. What about you when it comes to bullying and revenge? 

Noelle: Revenge comes with a price. Sometimes a big one. Looking back, I think there are other answers to deal with bullying like find supportive people, reach out, and certainly rise above. I was wondering as I read Break from You, what about Drew made you stay with him? I mean, he pushed you and hurt you in all sorts of ways. There must be a reason. 

Brooke: Being with Drew is amazing. He’s amazing in so many ways. It’s easy to look past all the bad stuff. He loves me and I love him.

Noelle: Do you think of Drew as a bully? Whether your answer’s yes or no—tell us why.

Brooke: I don’t think so. It’s hard for me to think of Drew badly. But I know that Cooper, Dylan, and Jackie would answer yes to this question. Bullying is intimidating someone, either emotionally or with force, and they would say Drew did this to me. You have a lot of experience with bullies. Do you think Drew was a bully?

Noelle: Actually, I do. He and Trina would have made a great couple. Tell us about Cooper. He sounds pretty hot with his Stetson and way with horses. 

Brooke: I was drawn to Cooper from the moment I stared into his green eyes. There’s something about him that makes me feel safe and protected. I’ve never felt that way before. And he is pretty hot with the cowboy hat on. 

Noelle: If you could turn back time, knowing what you know now, would you still be Drew’s girlfriend?

Brooke: I don’t know. I really don’t. I love Drew and I’m not sure I would want to lose all the good times I had with him. Do you ever wish you could turn back time and change things? 

Noelle: Absolutely. More than you know. Seriously, that was just a little too deep. Let’s move on to something fun. Who do you like better? Robert Pattinson or Justin Bieber?

Do I have to choose between them? 

Noelle: Um, yeah.

Brooke: I guess Robert Pattinson then. 

Noelle: If you were forced to go on a long road trip with your parents and their music, would you rather listen to the Rolling Stones or The Beatles?

Brooke: I don’t think my parents listened to either of those. I get stuck with old country songs.

Noelle: Ah, a country girl. I’m totally a city girl. Who would you choose as your dance partner on Dancing with the Stars? If you don’t watch the show, look up the pictures of the dance pros online. There’s no copping out of this one.

Brooke: Okay, I just saw Maks in a cowboy hat and I’d have to say, he’s now my favorite. Before that, though, I was a fan of Derek. 

Noelle: Yeah, Maks is kind of tough-guy hot. 

Brooke: What about you? Robert or Justin? Rolling Stones or Beatles? Your fav Dancing Pro? Is it Derek?

Noelle: Robert, 

You can find Rebecca's book at these sites ...

Thank you ladies for speaking out against BULLYING.

Have a wonderful day everyone.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sometimes even going back with intentions to change things never works.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

One kind of bullying often overlooked is gossip. One of those adult kinds of bullying that seems harmless unless you are the victim of it.

Morgan said...

This is something I talk to my kids about a lot... I know they're still young, but I talk open about it in hopes that they'll feel comfortable to tell me if anything ever happens to them. Breaks my heart. And it's so scary to have kids out there in the world today! It's definitely different from when I was a child... either that, or I was totally in my own world/naive! :/

David P. King said...

This is a topic that can't be brought up more. At the same time, I couldn't help but notice the increase is bully stories throughout October this year, which is supposed to be anti-bullying month. Is this an excuse for bullies to double their efforts or the media to cover it more? Either way, important topic, and it's great that this novel is tackling the issue. :)

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

This topic is close to my heart. It's so important to make a stand against bullying. Books like this are good for the simple fact that it gets people talking.

Denise Covey said...

I love books which look at deep issues. Bullying is in every strata of society - I think our politicians are the biggest bullies - what an example they set for our children when they bully each other shamelessly in Parliament. Ugh. Now facebook bullies are creating horror in the schools. Despite campaigns, bullying just continues to grow.

Trisha said...

These books both sound amazing! and I totally agree - bullying has always been around but nowadays it seems more and more common for it to end in tragedy. :( It's awful.

Elliot Grace said...

...a powerful subject, bullying, one that causes so much grief for many of our youth. It's an age-old epidemic in dire need of a resolution.

Great interview, Michael, this story's piqued this bookworm's interest.


Danette said...

Kids are scary these days. I remember some bullying when I was in school (back in "the day" lol) but it's more intense and I think part of that can be attributed to books like Gossip Girls or one of the many others that make the bullies out to be cool. Words have meaning.

Christmas cheers to you, my friend!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

As a part Lakota boy in the South, I was the victim of bullying from one school to another as Mother and I moved from job to job for her.

I've been pushed down a flight of school stairs, been beaten up repeatedly by gangs of "toughs," had plants from second floor windows pushed over on top of me (missing my head but not my shoulder).

Mother would offer to move me to another school, but I knew I would always find bullies who hated the "red skin."

Bruises heal, but bullies steal self-respect, dignity, peace of mind, and a sense of worth. Where do you go to replace them?

Susan Oloier said...

Thank you so very, very much for hosting Brooke and Noelle today, Michael, and for opening up the conversation about these tough issues.
@Roland: I am so horrified by what you went through. Now that I read about your history with bullying, I see why Victor is such a strong and fiesty character. Thank you for sharing your personal story. (((Hugs)))

Rebecca Green Gasper said...

Thank you, Michael for hosting the Speak Out Against tour today. And thank to you everyone for their comments and stories. Bullying and dating abuse is all to common. I am sadden by all the stories I hear but am so glad that everyone is speaking out and sharing. It is important to let others know they are not alone.

Mark Koopmans said...

I'm with Morgan i.e. talking to my kids about the dangers of bullying.

Although never bullied myself (my mouth got me into enough trouble) I did know who the bullies were, and there was always something off about them... no good vibe... which is why I never wasted my time trying to get into their "gang."

@Roland: Dude, the fact you're comfortable enough to share your past in a comment says a lot, and I wish you all the best, my friend.

Talli Roland said...

Thank you for this important post! As Karen pointed out, there are lots of different types of bullying, sadly, even in adulthood.

Unknown said...

So much of bullying is taught. There's a ton of responsibility on the end of adults to teach children differently. And as others mentioned, bullying isn't just left to the kids. Adults just do it differently.

It (bullying) can't become a big enough issue in my mind. It can really destroy an entire life.

Heather said...

This sounds like an important, powerful book. I'll check it out for sure. Unfortunately, E.J. is right, a lot of bullying is taught or learned at home. The problem lies with broken homes on far too many occasions.

Samantha May said...

People can be so cruel. It makes me sad :(

Thanks for raising awareness of this important issue.

dolorah said...

Excellent interview and bullying write up. Such a shame so many kids suffer this, both in their own homes and at school.


Unknown said...

Nice post Bro and a subject that in my opinion never gets enough attention!

Anonymous said...

Very thoughtful post on a very tough subject. I'm still very sensitive to bullying as I went through a lot of it in my life. It's changed me and ruined me in ways I can't even explain and when I hear about kids like Amanda Todd and Tyler Clementi it shakes me to my core.

Those books sound very interesting and I'll have to look into them. I read "By The Time You Read This I'll be Dead" which deals with the impact of being bullied, that one might interest you as well: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6609549-by-the-time-you-read-this-i-ll-be-dead

It is very encouraging to see this anti-bullying movement come to the forefront, and good on you for spreading the word!

Unknown said...

What a thoughtful and unfortunately, necessary piece. Bullying is horrific and as a victim myself, I get so enraged when teachers and other figures of authority just dismiss it as kids being kids.

Thank you for helping to spread the word. :)

Lauren said...

One major problem is the culture of silence. Like family abuse, the victims are not to speak of it. The best way out is to break the silence, but this will never happen on a personal level. It's up to those on the outside.

NEVER NEVER NEVER tell a child who's being bullied to "be a man" or to "grow up" or that he or she is "old enough to solve your own problems."