Thursday, December 13, 2018

VBT Dickensen Academy by Christine Grabowski

Dickensen Academy
by Christine Grabowski


GENRE: Young YA - fantasy



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?


Excerpt Two:
Clues to the secret existed from day one, yet they appeared to belong to separate puzzles. Most students either missed these signs or chose to ignore them. We were busy acclimating—as the faculty called it—to a new environment. Some outsiders might call what they did to us those initial weeks a form of brainwashing or fostering a cult-like mentality.

But not me.

I agreed with Principal Locke. We weren’t ready. We needed time to separate from our families and become a cohesive group. And some of us, myself included, even needed a little nudge to accept the invitation. If someone had told us the truth on Day One why they’d brought us to Dickensen Academy, we would have never believed it. We’d think they were crazy. Or worse, we’d turn around and run back home. But if we left, we would have missed out on something extraordinary. Something worth the wait.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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:

Interview with Christine Grabowski
1. What is your favorite part of this book and why?

I love when Autumn arrives on campus and immediately has a sense of déjà vu as she tours the campus, meets her roommate, and runs into Ben. And then when she looks down at her phone after her parents leave and discovers she doesn’t have a signal, we know, uh-oh, something is up.

I like this scene because it took me so long to get it right. I probably had six completely different starts and ended up beginning the book as Autumn arrives on campus and the mystery begins to unfold. I originally began about 80 pages earlier before she had even heard of Dickensen Academy. I had wanted to tell the whole story but learned from my early readers that many of those early pages could simply be background material. However, it took me close to a year of cutting to finally get to the ideal starting point.  

2. If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

I’d love to hang out with Ben Coleman. I fell in love with him while writing the story. He is very intelligent and easy to talk to. We’d probably go on a long hike in the mountains.

3. If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?

Definitely Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for about a thousand reasons.

4. Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

The only character based 100% off of real life is Zoey, Autumn’s Welsh terrier. Zoey is based off of the younger version of our late dog, Rylie.

Two characters are based partly off of real-life people. Autumn is a combination of myself and my daughter, and Aditi is based off of a good friend I met in my 20s. Everyone else is imagined.

5. What made you want to become a writer?

Books have always played an important part of my life, so over the years I began to fantasize writing one of my own. But it wasn’t until I had kids that I felt compelled to do so. I wanted them to fall in love with reading too, and I found that if they liked a book (or series), they would read like crazy, but if they didn’t care for it, they hated to read. That inspired me want to write books that would keep kids reading, so they would develop the love of reading for a lifetime.



Christine Grabowski will be awarding $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

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  1. My family and I all appreciate you bringing to our attention the book description of another great book to read. Thanks so much!

  2. I would love to read your book and I love your cover.

  3. Great interview, I enjoyed reading it.

  4. Who is your favorite author of all time? Congrats on the release. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(dot)com