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Sunday, April 15, 2018

Blog Tour: REWIND

Rewind Blog Tour Stops

Win a FREE copy of REWIND. Post a comment here on my blog. Include first name, city, state and email. I do not share your emails anywhere. One winner will be picked on April 23 at noon MST. Please check your email on that date. The winner has 24 hours to respond to my email. The book will ship from the publisher. Thank you and be sure and read my review and interview with the author below.

by Carolyn O'Doherty
Boyds Mills Press 
256  pages 
ISBN: 9781629798141

Thrilling edge of your seat action, killer high stakes, a series of events that lead the main character into desperation, Rewind is one YA debut you cannot afford to miss! Sixteen year old Alex is a spinner and works with the Portland police department using her unique ability to stop and rewind time as a tool to solve crimes. The police, with her help, are able to solve cases that come up, including murder cases. When Alex stops time, she can rewind and watch events in a "rewind." She sees people doing everything backwards: walking backwards, driving backwards, just as if you were to rewind a video or VDR program. When Alex gets to the point in time that the crime occurs, she and her police partner, Mr. Ross, can see events happen and see the criminal commit the crime. When Alex agrees to partner with Ross to stop a dangerous criminal she has no idea what she is getting into and worse, who to trust.

Alex lives in a group setting called the Center with others who share her ability. Spinners are kept there since birth as the populace fears them and their powers. Many people hate or distrust them. Alex is allowed "outside" only on a tether (a leash) so that normal people can control her. All the kids are on meds. They think what they are taking is helping them, but as Alex begins a new secret treatment, she realizes the drugs are killing them. The government wants them to die in their teens. Alex puts her trust in best friend KJ and they escape the center and go on the run.

Readers will be unable to put this one down. A page-turner with high stakes and a kick-butt female protagonist is always a win. Add fighting crime and a HUGE double cross, and you have magic in those pages! /Time travel is always a win, but with the police and crime solving aspect, this is a unique twist. Reluctant readers will find themselves LOVING this one. 

HIGHLY, highly recommended for all YA readers. Grades 7 and up.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the ARC from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

                                               Meet Carolyn--My Interview with Carolyn 

Q:  In REWIND, Alex is the main character and hero. In Books 2 and 3, will other spinners become more important, or will Alex continue as the main?

Alex remains the point of view character in all three books, though Jack and Shannon both become more prominent characters in book two.

Q: Rewind is book one in a planned trilogy, where are you as a writer right now? Are you finished with all three and editing? Are you currently still writing? When can readers expect publication of next two books?

Book 2 is almost finished (at least I hope so!). I have one more round of changes to work through but the book is complete so the edits are around tightening the pacing rather than working through the plot. Book 2 is scheduled to come out in the spring of 2019. Book 3 right now only exists as a really terrible early draft. I sketched out what I wanted to have happen in 3 before I finished book 2 to make sure that I wasn’t going to write myself into a corner but the manuscript is otherwise a complete mess. I don’t have a contract yet for book 3, but I hope we’ll have it out a year after book 2 (spring of 2020).

Q: The Portland area seems to be a hotbed of YA writers right now. Does living in the area help a YA writer? If so, why?

I don’t know if living in Portland helps YA writers specifically, but it’s a great place to live for a writer in general. There are wonderful resources here and lots of supportive peers to lean on. I’ve been part of a number of different writing groups, both formal and informal, and all of them have added to my sense of being part of a community. I find writing groups, and individual writing friends, so important, both because it’s hard to critique your own work and because most of my writing time is spent all by myself. It’s endlessly reassuring to have someone to talk to about the difficulties of good plotting, finding inspiration, uncooperative characters, and the challenges of the publishing industry.

Q: How many edits or changes did your manuscript go through from querying and landing your agent to editor? How many edits did it go through at editor stage?

Short answer: a lot. I got my agent for REWIND in the spring of 2014. The feedback I received from her took me six months to work through – I changed the entire book from past tense to present and rewrote a major section in the middle, which then meant more changes in the end to make it consistent. When Boyds Mills Press picked it up they asked for additional changes. Those were less dramatic, but they still took time. After that, we had maybe a half dozen rounds of back and forth with increasingly pickier changes. Boyds Mills’ editors are awesome – they caught all kinds of problems and inconsistencies from a character holding something one moment and then reaching that same hand out to do something else, to a word I overused, similes that didn’t work, and misplaced commas. The final rounds of edits were crazy specific – like, could I remove a few letters from a particular line so that the sentence didn’t look squished on the page? I did not expect that level of editing at all!

Q:When would freezing time be a blessing? A curse?

I think for the person who had the skills it would generally be a blessing, assuming one did not live in the society Alex does, and one was able to use the skill at will. You could do a lot of good in the world: stopping people from dying in a car crash, for example, or, as Alex does in the first chapter of REWIND, defusing a bomb. For us non-spinners, though, the ability to stop time is pretty troubling. A spinner with bad intentions is almost impossible to protect against. It’s one of the tensions I’m exploring more as the series progresses.

Q: Besides YA time travel, is there another genre you are considering writing? For example: MG or YA fantasy?

The very first novel I wrote, the one that lives in the proverbial drawer, was an epic fantasy aimed at adult readers. It’s unlikely to ever see the light of day, though I do toy with the idea of resurrecting it sometimes. Since then I’ve only written YA with some sort of fantastical element. One started out as an adult book, but it ended up turning into YA, so I think this is where I’m staying. I like YA because the stories can be more complex than MG without having to add the additional angst adult novels tend to have (at least the ones I like to read). YA can be really playful and I enjoy living in that place while I write.

Q: What is the last YA book you've read besides your own?

A friend recently gave me the first of the Raven Cycle books by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys) and I have to admit to being a bit obsessed. I just finished the third one and can’t wait to start the fourth!

Q: What books would you recommend to every YA reader?

Books are so personal. I don’t think there are any must-read books that work for everyone. People should read whichever stories suck them into a fictional world so deeply they never want to leave. One of my older son’s favorite writers when he was a teen was Walter Dean Myers, who writes gritty, realistic novels about inner city boys and young soldiers. My other son is currently immersed in Game of Thrones. A few books I have been sucked into lately (besides the aforementioned Raven Cycle) are: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, Feed by M.T. Anderson, and Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. Everyone in my family adores all seven Harry Potter books. Read a lot, read widely, and discover what you love.

Q: Besides writing, what are your other hobbies?

This doesn’t really count as a hobby, but I have a non-writing job as an affordable housing developer that fills a lot of my time. My position there means building a lot of spreadsheets and I find using such a different part of my brain is a nice balance to the creative/writing side of my life. Outside of work I like reading, cooking, snowboarding, and visiting with friends. My youngest is off to college soon so my husband and I are dreaming up a lot of trips we want to take as empty nesters.

Q: What author (even outside of YA) do you admire most and why?

This is a hard one, there are so many authors I admire for so many different reasons. Of the classics, I’m a big Jane Austen fan because of her precision and beautiful prose (OK, and because I’m a hopeless Anglophile). Toni Morrison’s work always blow me away, especially her novel Beloved, which is one of my all-time favorites. Her writing is poetic and gorgeous and the story is heartbreaking. I also really admire J.K. Rowling’s ability to create such a detailed and immersive world. I’m sure I could go on – there are so many wonderful writers out there.

Q: If you could do anything besides writing for a living, what would it be?

Hah! As I in no way make my living from writing, I’d say developing affordable housing. That said, I recently visited a gallery of an artist (Chris Roberts-Antieau) who makes really gorgeous textile art. I’d love to be able to create something like that!

Q: Every writer has things that appear in every work. For example mine are: a bookstore or library, a dog, food, magic and snappy dialog. What things appear in all your works?

So far the common denominator seems to be Portland. That and weird, science fiction-y elements because I love playing with what-ifs. The book I’m working on now has a character who wakes up looking a different age every morning. I’ve also sketched out a story that involves body swapping – my whole family pitched in on the initial plotting for that one while we were out hiking one day!

Q: What food speaks to your SOUL?

Homemade macaroni and cheese? It’s not very exciting but it’s definitely my go-to comfort food and also the first non-dessert thing I learned how to cook. Sushi is one of my favorite flavors, though. And dark chocolate. I am also very fond of red wine (is that bad to admit in a YA blog?).

Q: What smells or scents bring back childhood memories for you?

The beach – warm tropical beaches, not those chilly coastal places. I lived in Hawaii from ages 7 to 14 and we used to go to the beach every Sunday. The smell of sea-salt and hot sand always take me back.

Q: What was your greatest vacation of all time and why?

When we first got married, my husband and I spent four months traveling around SE Asia. We spent time in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. We saw beautiful places, learned history I never would have absorbed in a classroom, and talked to so many interesting people. It’s easy to think of foreign countries as “different” or scary, but when you’re there you realize we’re all just everyday people living out our lives. Well, “everyday” in some ways, but with exotic-to-me food and scenery and things to explore. I wish everyone had the opportunity to travel because I think then we would live in a kinder and more peaceful world.


  1. This sounds amazing!
    Hopewell, VA

  2. Wow. Sounds good! Janet Dover, AR janet.kanady@doverschools.net

  3. Hi! I would love to win this book for our middle school library. Karen, San Marcos, CA karen.nicholson@smusd.org

  4. Melissa
    Pleasant Hill, MO

  5. Stacey
    Blythewood, SC

  6. Sounds good! Jaci, Onalaska, WI, pankhurs.jacq@gmail.com

  7. Jennifer
    Cypress TX

  8. Katie
    Columbia, MD

  9. Michelle
    Birmingham, MI

  10. I can't wait to read this. It sounds like it has everything my students love.
    Mary Zdrojewski
    Scio, NY

    1. Heather Jurado Horizon City, Texas heather.jurado@clint.net

  11. Karen
    Anthony ISD
    825 Wildcat Dr.
    Anthony, TX 79821

  12. Sounds like a great book.
    Maggie K.
    Fort Worth, TX

  13. Teresa
    Brewer, ME

    This sounds amazing!

  14. That sounds like a great book my kids would love! :)
    Marti Brown
    Blythewood, SC