Friday, November 11, 2011

In Leah's Wake Blog Tour - Guest Post and Review

By Terri Giuliano Long
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback, Kindle
ISBN: 1456310542
Publisher: CreateSpace


The Tyler family had the perfect life - until sixteen-year-old Leah decided she didn't want to be perfect anymore.

While her parents fight to save their daughter from destroying her brilliant future, Leah's younger sister, Justine, must cope with the damage her out-of-control sibling leaves in her wake.

Will this family survive? What happens when love just isn't enough?

Jodi Picoult fans will love this beautifully written and absorbing novel.


Protecting their children comes naturally for Zoe and Will Tyler—until their daughter Leah decides to actively destroy her own future.

Leah grew up in a privileged upper-middle class world. Her parents spared no expense for her happiness; she had all-but secured an Ivy League scholarship and a future as a star athlete. Then she met Todd.

Leah’s parents watch helplessly as their daughter falls into a world of drugs, sex, and wild parties. While Will attempts to control his daughter’s every move to prevent her from falling deeper into this dangerous new life, Zoe prefers to give Leah slack in the hope that she may learn from her mistakes. Their divided approach drives their daughter out of their home and a wedge into their marriage.

Twelve-year-old Justine observes Leah’s rebellion from the shadows of their fragmented family. She desperately seeks her big sister’s approval and will do whatever it takes to obtain it. Meanwhile she is left to question whether her parents love her and whether God even knows she exists.

What happens when love just isn’t enough? Who will pay the consequences of Leah’s vagrant lifestyle? Can this broken family survive the destruction left in Leah’s wake?

This mesmerizing debut novel tells the tale of a contemporary American family caught in the throes of adolescent rebellion - a heartbreaking, funny, ultimately redemptive quest for love, independence, connection and grace.

SALES LINKS Amazon Print , Amazon Kindle, Barnes and NobleIndie Bound


Terri Giuliano Long is the bestselling author of the award-winning novel In Leah’s Wake. Books offer her a zest for life’s highs and comfort in its lows. She’s all-too-happy to share this love with others as a novelist and a writing teacher at Boston College. She was grateful and thrilled beyond words when In Leah’s Wake hit the Barnes & Noble and Amazon bestseller lists in August. She owes a lot of wonderful people – big time! – for any success she’s enjoyed!


In Leah’s Wake is the 2011 BOOK BUNDLZ BOOK CLUB PICK

Recipient of the Coffee Time Reviewers Recommend (CTRR) Award. This award, as selected by reviewers, recognizes outstanding writing styles in all book types and genres.

There are no quick and easy solutions here for Leah or for her parents. They each struggle through, learning in their own ways and taking responsibility for their actions in their own times, but as they are doing so, they pulled me right along as I continued to make comparisons to my own life. ~ Jennifer Donovan, Managing Editor 5 Minutes for Books, Top 50 Book Blogger

"As a mom, I felt what Zoe felt. It tore my heart out to see the promise of a child being being replaced with the nightmare of reality… I’m adding Terri Giuliano Long to my list of authors I want to be stranded with." ~ Susie Kline, Blogger, Motherhoot

"I give “In Leah’s Wake” 5 stars and recommend reading to anyone with tweens. Although it is fiction, this book can be a great reference for parenting teenagers."
~ Monica Madsen, Blogger, A Mother’s Touch Bookshelf

In Leah's Wake is beautifully written, haunting, fascinating, and a book that has a lot to say, a lot to teach you, without getting preachy. ~ Haley Stokes, Blogger, Triumphal Writing 

“It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, 1999
Finding Balance – Or Not As a young mom with four active daughters, involved in school, music and sports, my life was a hodge-podge of bustling activity. I wrote part-time, at night or in the wee hours of the morning, while my family slept. Back then, I fantasized about a time when my life would be my own – no more afternoons spent driving from one activity to the next, no volunteer work, no laundry fairy multiplying the loads. I imagined long, uninterrupted days at my desk, immersed in my work. Now our daughters are grown, two with families of their own. While, yes, I occasionally spend 10, 12, 14 hours at my desk, those days are rare. Like most women writers, I constantly struggle to find balance. My husband is a terrific guy. When the girls were little, he, not I, got up in the middle of the night. Even now, he does more than his fair share of the chores. When our daughters need something fixed - their car breaks down, for example – they don’t hesitate to call him. With emotional issues, I’m the one they rely on. Believe me, talking is far more time-consuming than finding a mechanic to fix the transmission. Whenever the need arises, because I’m a mom first, before anything else, my work takes a backseat. Deadlines get pushed back, the article or story goes unedited, the book sits in a file, waiting, neglected. And I feel guilty for letting it go. If I do focus on work, I feel guilty for not devoting more time to my family. Either way, I feel bad about myself. Every female writer I know says the same thing. We love our families – we want to give of ourselves – but why does it have to be either-or? Years ago, I attended a seminar with Alice Hoffman as the keynote speaker. It was not merely that I loved and admired her work. No, I wanted to be Alice Hoffman. This successful female writer put out a bestselling book every year. And they were good. Very good. And she had kids. This was a woman who did it all, and did it all well. I couldn’t wait to learn how. Imagine my surprise when she talked about the difficulty of striking a balance. “My kids,” she said, “think I don’t have a job.” Say what? Would the kids think the same if their dad were a writer? Probably not. Because he’d have an office and it would be off-limits. Most men I know store their roles in separate compartments, to be taken out, dusted off, and worn at appropriate times. Our role is fluid. We can’t turn off, tune out or otherwise escape family responsibility. We’re always on. In all fairness, fathers are fathers every day of their life. The difference is, we mothers are moms every minute of ours. I don’t resent this, not for an instant, and I’m sure you don’t either. I want to be with my family. In fact, as I’ve come to realize, I’ve actively chosen this life. Men find balance – by marrying us. Yet, even if we had wives, their needs, I suspect, would be at least equal to ours. Most women are people-centric. Sure, we value success, but we’re relationship-oriented. The people we love truly are our reason for living. I’ve spent a lifetime seeking balance only to find that it doesn’t exist. Balance is elusive, a figment of our imagination, reinforced by culture in movies and TV. If we’re to be contented, we have to let go. We’ve got to accept that we can’t always do it all – and quit feeling guilty! She who dies with the most toys – or the cleanest house or the best brownies - does not necessarily win. Or maybe she does. But, believe me, unless she’s got ice running through her veins, she feels guilty too. That’s who we are. Better to accept it than always fight and feel guilty. Our lives are big and wonderful and, yes, messy. And that’s OK. So go ahead – kiss those boo-boos. Call a friend. Spend an extra hour or two at your desk. The beds will get made, the cleaning picked up, the laundry folded. Maybe not in that order. Really, why does it matter?

My Thoughts on In Leah's Wake
I honestly thought this book was a young adult novel, and even though there isn't anything that a young adult shouldn't read I probably wouldn't say it was geared toward young adults. This book is told from the perspective of all four members of Leah's family. My favorite perspectives were that of the two daughters, though the book definitely would not have been complete without the parents point of views. I found myself putting this book down a little more often than other books, but that may have been because this book is a bit deeper than I usually read, and I needed extra digestion time.
I never went in the direction of Leah as a teenager, but I totally understood her deep need to rebel, to break free of the feeling that someone else is controlling YOUR life. However, as a parent I can see the need to control as a way to keep our children safe, it's hard to let our teens voice their own desires and opinions especially when they may be different than our own. I loved how being the reader of this book I was able to calmly think of all the ways that everyone could have acted and reacted to create completely different outcomes.

In Leah's Wake is a heartbreaking look at a family that has become disconnected, and have lost the ability to communicate with each other. A family that is desperately trying to hold it all together.

See the trailer for In Leah's Wake here


  1. I'm definitely a fan of books where families shatter apart--weird, I know, but there's something about being invited in to watch a family fracture that captures my attention. Definitely gonna have to check this one out. Thanks for the rec!


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  3. Hi Shari,

    Thank you so very much for your thoughtful review! I love that you point out the disconnection that happens within the family. That's an important theme to me, so it means a lot that you've pointed it out.

    I really appreciate your hosting me! Thank you so very, very much!!

    With my warmest wishes,


  4. Thank you so very much, Lori!! I really appreciate your interest in my book. :)

  5. In Leah's Wake is an astounding story of a family in transition due to the troubling changes in their daughter Leah. Leah, once captain of the soccer team and an A student has begun a slow downward slide into the dark world of drugs. She has a boyfriend, Todd, who was busted for drugs in the past and who her parents have warned her about, demanding she stay away from him, but their demands, actions and accusations just push her closer and closer to Todd, and deepen her commitment to this troubled man a few years older than she is.

    It's not just Leah's story, it's the entire family's story, showing what Leah's parents and sister are going through the entire time all of this is going on. There are touching scenes and there are scenes so that leave you aching for the people in them. Leah's descent into drug abuse, her problems at school and her deteriorating relationship with her family are all told realistically. You don't have to work hard to enter Will, Zoe, Justine and Leah's world because of this. You just turn the pages and you're there with them as they all go through this.


Thanks for stopping by. I love hearing what you think!