Friday, November 23, 2018

Dickensen Academy by Christine Grabowski

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Christine Grabowski will be awarding $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Why do you write juvenile fiction? What draws you to it?

I fell in love with reading as a child, so when my kids began reading, I wanted the same for them. I noticed they loved some books and didn’t like others. That inspired me to want to write books that children and young adults would enjoy, so they would develop the love of reading for a lifetime.

What books were your favorite as a youth and why?

I loved all the Judy Blume books. I started with the Fudge books which were laugh out loud funny. But her older MG books like Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret kept me reading because they were so relatable, and I learned about things I wasn’t comfortable talking about with my mom.

What’s your favorite sweet treat?

Definitely ice cream in a waffle cone, preferable with some sort of chocolate or caramel mix-in… unless it is coffee and that works all by itself.

What book is on your nightstand currently?

Bite Me by Louise Cypress. But I usually have multiple books going. A writing craft book, a book for book club (or 2… I’m a member of two), and a YA.

Hunger Games or Twilight? Why?

This is tough as they are two of my favorite series. But if I have to pick I’d say Twilight. My parents live in Port Angeles (I live closer to Seattle) and so the setting was very real for me. I even read the first book while staying there. One time we took a day trip to Forks and the Quileute Reservation.

Sum up your book for Twitter: 140 characters or less.

When a teen discovers her school is teaching dream telepathy, she must believe in her own powers or risk having her memories destroyed.

Favorite hot beverage. Why?

Coffee with a little (and I mean just a splash) of milk. If I didn’t drink it, I’d be sleeping right now.

What four literary characters would you most like to have over for dinner?

* Laura Ingalls – She was only a little older than me, and I felt that I grew up while she grew up in front of me on screen. I always wanted to be a part of her family.
* Charles Wallace – This kid is so smart, I’m sure we’d never run out of things to talk about.
* Edward – I felt in love with him while reading Twilight.
* Rhett Butler – If I lived during the Civil War, I would have fallen in love with him. He was such a bad boy on the outside but was sweet on the inside.

Who was your teenaged crush? Why?

Simon Le Bon from Duran Duran. I had a group of 5 friends in 8th grade, and we all got to pick one member of the band as our favorite. I loved both Simon and John Taylor—let’s face it, because of their looks. But Danelle picked John, so I went with Simon.

Favorite class in high school. Why?

Arts & Crafts. I went to a religious high school with only six periods. With religion being a required class and with a full pre-college load, it was the only “fun” class I got to take in four years.

Dickensen Academy isn’t a typical boarding school. The faculty is hiding an unbelievable secret within their fine arts program. When Autumn Mattison receives an invitation to attend the high school, she yearns to escape her overbearing father yet remains reluctant to leave her mother and brother. Her doubts fade away when a vivid dream convinces her she belongs there.

Away from home, Autumn discovers a unique school environment that awakens her creative potential, and her new friends become like a second family. However, as she uncovers more about the dark side of the school and struggles with its curriculum, she questions whether Dickensen Academy is truly where she belongs.

When tragedy strikes, Autumn must learn to believe in her own power and stand up to her greatest fear or risk having her memories destroyed to protect the school’s secrets. Caught between secrets and dreams, can she find her true self?

Read an Excerpt

“I feel like there’s something big we don’t know about. Something those students were protecting. I mean, really, why are we here?”

I thought it was just me who was confused. “Well…the recruiters said we’re creative and focused.”

“Yeah, that’s what Principal Locke said too.”

“And we have the right personality.”

Ben looked up at the sky, sighed then turned toward the forest. “What did he say…something about how it will soon become clear why we’re here, and there’s some ultimate purpose for our creativity?”

“I know. That whole creativity part was a bit bizarre.”

He shrugged. “It seems everyone is going with the flow. But I have so many questions.” Then he touched my arm to stop me, so I turned toward him. “I’m thinking they’re isolating us for some special reason,” he admitted in an embarrassed tone.

I tried not to laugh—he was acting paranoid. But I didn’t know Ben well. Maybe he was joking, trying to freak me out. Or was he hitting on me? The flutter in my chest moved to my stomach. I was already anxious about being away from home and whether or not I could hack the academics. I didn’t need to obsess about anything else. But I still had to know about Ben’s dream.

“So…I also had a dream about Dickensen before I accepted the offer.”

Ben’s head snapped toward me. “You did?”

About the Author:
Dickensen Academy is Christine’s debut YA novel. After graduating from the University of Washington, she earned her MBA at the University at Albany. She honed her technical writing skills in marketing and consulting but attributes the creative part of the process to her passion for reading.

When she isn’t reading or writing, Christine can often be found running, skiing, or hiking. She lives in Newcastle, Washington, with her supportive husband, two avid teen readers, and their energetic wheaten terriers.

Buy Links:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Great book. I too took Art in high school and I loved it. It was my favorite class and hot A's in

    1. It sounds like you read it. So thank you if you did. If for this weekend only, my publisher is offering all eBooks, including Dickensen Academy at 40% off.

  2. Thank you so much for hosting me. I will be checking in throughout the day to respond to any comments. Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday weekend.

  3. For anyone considering buying the book, the eBook is being discounted for 40% off until this Monday.