Monday, September 14, 2015

The Teddy Bear Eye Club Blog Tour

Title: The Teddy Bear Eye Club
Author: Suzanne M. Hurley
Publisher: Wings ePress
Genre: Young Adult
Format: Kindle/Nook
Pages: 286

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.

Book 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 

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.


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.


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.

For More Information

 The Teddy Bear Eye Club is available at Amazon.

 Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.

 Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

This is an excellent book for mature middle school age and high school students.
It comes across religious in tone but not preachy. It covers extremely important issues about self esteem, trust, and sense of belonging. 
Mayah Lewis is fourteen years old. In her school system that means a new school and once again being low in status. Usually that affects any person's confidence. Recently Mayah also discovered facts about her adoption that made her question her whole life. She withdrew from her friends and even moved out of her adoptive parents home. Her story is about identity and support.
A new student begins school with more going against her than just not knowing anyone. Despite that, Celeste Daniels is a positive force to be reckoned with. Her energy affects all she comes in contact with. 
The popular cheerleader, Kitty, seems to have it all together. Looks, money, cool friends, but she may have more secrets than anyone else. Mayah is shocked and suspicious when Kitty acts friendly.

The story moved along steadily but a bit slowly for me at the beginning.
I appreciated the important values and messages included in the book.
I cared about the characters and wanted them to figure out how to relate and help each other. There are some very tense and sad moments. It would be a good book to discuss with younger readers and ask if they know anyone struggling with similar thoughts and problems. 

There are several excellent passages I had to highlight in my eBook.
If you read an e-dition I believe you can see them.
Passages about life being made up of different aspects, not all one thing, and life not waiting for ideal circumstances and acceptance by others.

I was provided with an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. It would make a tremendous addition to a church library or youth group reading.

About the Author
All 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.

Her latest young adult novel is The Teddy Bear Eye Club.

For More Information

 Visit Suzanne M. Hurley’s website.

 Connect with Suzanne on Facebook and Twitter.

 Find out more about Suzanne at Goodreads.

 Contact Suzanne.

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