First I would like to give a warm welcome to Laurel Garver with her guest post, "Why Dads matter"!
Why Dads matter
My novel NEVER GONE is about a teen girl grieving the death of her father. As I was writing it, I discovered there haven’t been many YA books that focus on loss of a parent, aside from The Truth About Forever and Cures for Heartbreak. I suppose that’s because of the tendency to focus on peer relationships in the teen years, so sibling death stories like Losing Faith and The Sky is Everywhere are more the norm.
But as painful as it is to lose a sibling, losing a parent is far more world changing. The family’s income is cut in half, or lost entirely, which might require major transitions like moving or a career change for the living parent. College might suddenly become out of reach financially. As much as teens struggle to develop an individual identity, they still rely on parents for most of life’s necessities. They also receive a lion’s share of emotional support from parents.
I was especially interested in exploring the father-daughter dynamic because girls first learn how to relate to boys from interacting with their dads. As much as the overprotective dad who scrutinizes boyfriends is the butt of jokes, especially in TV sit-coms, it’s a natural and normal phenomenon for dads to protect their daughters from predators. Despite the eye-rolling, daughters know they’re valued when their dads don’t let just any guy get close to them. In healthy families, girls will start to look at potential partners through Dad’s eyes and pick up red flags. A girl who has a close bond with her dad is far less likely to seek sexual intimacy too young, or stay in abusive relationships.
In NEVER GONE, Dani has lost her protector to death. So naturally, she struggles with a new sense of vulnerability and must find ways to be savvy about guys without Dad’s direct intervention. Her interactions with most of the male characters in the story are charged by this dynamic. There are both protectors and predators all around her, and at times she mistakes one for the other. Her ability to see correctly doesn’t come until she grasps the love and protection of God, her eternal Father, the true and ultimate protector of her life.
Laurel Garver is a magazine editor, published poet and author of NEVER GONE, a novel for teens about grief and faith. An indie film enthusiast and incurable Anglophile, she enjoys playing word games, perfecting her backstroke, and working with her church youth group. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.
About Never Gone:
Days after her father’s death, fifteen-year-old Dani Deane begins seeing him all around New York — wading through discarded sketches in her room, roaming the halls at church, socializing at his post-funeral reception. Is grief making her crazy? Or could her dad really be lingering between this world and the next, trying to contact her?
Dani desperately longs for his help. Without him keeping the peace, Dani’s relationship with her mother is deteriorating fast. Soon Mum ships her off to rural England with Dad’s relatives for a visit that Dani fears will become a permanent stay. But she won’t let her arty, urban life slip away without a fight, especially when daily phone calls with her lab partner Theo become her lifeline.
To find her way home, Dani must somehow reconnect with Mum. But as she seeks advice from relatives and insights from old letters, she uncovers family secrets that shake her to the core. Convinced that Dad’s ghost alone can help her, she sets out on a dangerous journey to contact him one last time.
Thank you Laurel!!!
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The e-book is available at Amazon.com, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords
The paperback is available at CreateSpace, Amazon
And now for those of you encouraging bloggers involved in Did I Notice Your Book? Blogfest
(I hope you noticed Laurel's book, because I did, but I'm also going to spread some of the love around.)
One book I noticed earlier this year that keeps sticking with me, so I plan to re-read it again soon is:
Resistance by Laura Josephson! This is a fun, fantasy adventure that had some unexpected twists and turns, and loveable characters. Thank you Laura for a great read!
Official blurb: All Alphonse wants is a quiet summer at home before his final months at university. What he gets is a half-dead stranger on his doorstep and the task of delivering a package to the leader of his home country. Not long after he boards a train toward the capital, he's attacked by knights, elite soldiers of the neighboring king.
Alphonse is temporarily rescued by Mairwyn, a mechanic with a haunted past and a deep hatred of knights. Together, they attempt to carry out Alphonse's urgent errand, only to learn that if they fail, countless people will die.
And even if they succeed, they may not be able to prevent the war that lurks on the horizon.
Again, Many Thanks to Laurel for her awesome guest post!