October 15, 2021

Blog Tour: Violets Are Blue by Barbara Dee

Welcome to the Violets Are Blue Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of Violets Are Blue by Barbara Dee on October 12th, blogs across the web will be featuring exclusive guest posts from Barbara as well as 5 chances to win a signed copy all week long!

Eight Things I Need to Write 
by Barbara Dee

I’m basically a low maintenance sort of person--and a low maintenance sort of writer, too.   Seriously, I can write anywhere: on a moving train, at a Starbucks.

But lately, when I sit down in front of the computer, there are a few non-negotiable must-haves:

  1. A mug of green tea with mint.  Can’t be plain green tea, or green tea with any other flavors, like lemon (bleh). Occasionally I’ll switch to chai tea with milk, but 95% of the time, when I’m writing I’m sipping green tea with mint.
  2. YumEarth Organic Pops. These are virtuous--vegan, gluten-free—lollipops in a variety of fruit flavors. I toss the strawberry and watermelon pops because they’re too sweet for my tastebuds. Very Very Cherry is mouth-wateringly tart, Razzmatazz Berry is complicated and delicious, Perfectly Peach is satisfying—but the best is definitely Mango Tango, which I save for when I’m writing something especially tricky.  
  3. Uncle Jerry’s Pretzels. These are handmade Pennsylvania Dutch pretzels I  get at my local supermarket. They’re serious snacks—substantial and not too salty. Great for when you’re frustrated and need to stress-chew.
  4. Chocolate. When you’re super stressed (you just discovered a gaping plot hole, you can’t think of a title, you realize the chrononlogy of your plot is all messed up, your pub date has been postponed due to supply chain issues, etc, etc, etc) even a small bite of dark chocolate, preferably with almonds, helps. So does chocolate ice cream. Or any kind of ice cream, actually.
  5. Quiet. I’m not the kind of writer who makes a playlist. I need almost total quiet to work—no music, or leaf blowers or ringing telephones. Although I do make an exception for my dog’s loud snores, which I find cozy and calming.  
  6. Post-it notes and legal pads. I don’t write longhand; every book is typed. But as I’m writing I make myself endless notes. Which I promptly lose on my messy desk.
  7. Uniball Jetstream pens. My friend Nick Bruel raved about these pens at a book festival a few years ago so I went out and bought a few. They’re now my go-tos for all the notes I scribble on the post-its and legal pads. Somehow they make your words flow. Also highly recommended for book signings.
  8. Screenplays for when I need to procrastinate. Whenever I’m stuck, or just need a break, I like to read screenplays of my favorite movies and tv shows. My own books are basically dialogue, and reading screenplays helps me hear how characters speak. Fortunately, my local library has tons of screenplays, so I have plenty more procrastination in my future!  

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

“Barbara Dee has done it AGAIN! She tackles tough topics with such great care. She is to middle schoolers today what Judy Blume was to me in the 80’s. I give Violets Are Blue ALL the stars and thumbs up.”
– Amanda Jones, 2021 School Library Journal Co-Librarian of the Year

“[F]requently poignant… With flawed, realistic characters and dynamics, this reconciliatory novel is a believable balm for young people at the mercy of adult choices and scenarios.”
Publishers Weekly

From the author of the acclaimed My Life in the Fish Tank and Maybe He Just Likes You comes a moving and relatable middle grade novel about secrets, family, and the power of forgiveness.
Twelve-year-old Wren loves makeup—special effect makeup, to be exact. When she is experimenting with new looks, Wren can create a different version of herself. A girl who isn’t in a sort-of-best friendship with someone who seems like she hates her. A girl whose parents aren’t divorced and doesn’t have to learn to like her new stepmom.
So, when Wren and her mom move to a new town for a fresh start, she is cautiously optimistic. And things seem to fall into place when Wren meets potential friends and gets selected as the makeup artist for her school’s upcoming production of Wicked.
Only, Wren’s mom isn’t doing so well. She’s taking a lot of naps, starts snapping at Wren for no reason, and always seems to be sick. And what’s worse, Wren keeps getting hints that things aren’t going well at her new job at the hospital, where her mom is a nurse. And after an opening night disaster leads to a heartbreaking discovery, Wren realizes that her mother has a serious problem—a problem that can’t be wiped away or covered up.
After all the progress she’s made, can Wren start over again with her devastating new normal? And will she ever be able to heal the broken trust with her mom? 

Learn how to create the mermaid makeup effect from the cover!:

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Barbara Dee is the author of twelve middle grade novels published by Simon & Schuster, including Violets Are Blue, My Life in the Fish Tank, Maybe He Just Likes You, Everything I Know About You, Halfway Normal, and Star-Crossed. Her books have earned several starred reviews, have been shortlisted for many state book awards, and have been named to best-of lists including the The Washington Post’s Best Children’s Books, the ALA Notable Children’s Books, the ALA Rise: A Feminist Book Project List, the NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, and the ALA Rainbow List Top Ten. Barbara lives with her family, including a naughty cat named Luna and a sweet rescue hound named Ripley, in Westchester County, New York.


a Rafflecopter giveaway  

  • One (1) winner will receive a hardcover of Violets Are Blue by Barbara Dee with a SIGNED bookplate
  • US/Can only
  • Ends 11:59pm ET on 10/24
  • Enter using the Rafflecopter above
  • Check out the other stops along the tour for more chances to win!

Blog Tour Schedule:

October 11th – Pragmatic Mom
October 12thImagination Soup
October 13thFrom the Mixed-Up Files of Middle-Grade Authors
October 14th – YA Books Central
October 15thGood Choice Reading

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