Blog Tour & Giveaway: Ontario Teen Book Fest ft. Mary Weber

Crushed on by Christy Jane, on March 8, 2019, in Blog Tour, Events, Feature, Guest Post / 2 Comments

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Ontario Teen Book Fest ft. Mary Weber

Ontario Teen Book Fest is tomorrow, but first today we are thrilled to share a guest post from attending author, Mary Weber. Her newest release To Best the Boys, releases on March 19th, and it will be available to purchase early at the event! We caught up with Mary on the inspiration behind To Best the Boys, a story where a girl enters a STEM competition in order to best them. Her post below is absolute fire and resonates deeply to us as fellow women. Check it out and pre-order To Best the Boys now to get the preorder goodies (look at that paper doll!)!


About Ontario Bookfest

When: Saturday March 9th , 9 am to 5 pm
Where: Colony High School 3850 E. Riverside Drive, Ontario, CA 91761
How: SHOW UP! It’s free, unticketed, and includes lunch from Panera!
Get social with the hashtag – #ontariotbf
Find them online
Sponsored by Once Upon a Bookstore – books for sale at the event!

Attending authors: Carrie Arcos, Demetra Brodsky, Jennifer Brody, Jessica Brody, Julie Buxbaum, Kayla Cagan, Stephanie Garber, Nicole Maggi, Abdi Nazemian, Cindy Pon, Isabel Quintero, Robin Reul, Amy Spalding, Jeff Sweat, Mary Weber Emily Wibberly, Austin Siegemund-Broka, Suzanne Young

Will we see you there?


Blog Tour & Giveaway: Ontario Teen Book Fest ft. Mary Weber

To Best the Boys

by Mary Weber
Published by: Thomas Nelson
on March 19, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Pages: 352
Amazon
Goodreads

Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port receive a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University. Every year, the poorer residents look to see that their names are on the list. The wealthier look to see how likely their sons are to survive. And Rhen Tellur opens it to see if she can derive which substances the ink and parchment are created from, using her father’s microscope.

In the province of Caldon, where women are trained in wifely duties and men are encouraged into collegiate education, sixteen-year-old Rhen Tellur wants nothing more than to become a scientist. As the poor of her seaside town fall prey to a deadly disease, she and her father work desperately to find a cure. But when her Mum succumbs to it as well? Rhen decides to take the future into her own hands—through the annual all-male scholarship competition.

With her cousin, Seleni, by her side, the girls don disguises and enter Mr. Holm’s labyrinth, to best the boys and claim the scholarship prize. Except not everyone’s ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the maze.



The Inspiration Behind To Best the Boys

I clearly remember the Sunday afternoon lunch party my parents hosted one day when I was a preteen. Per usual, we served the meal family style, which meant people got in line to snag their food then find a seat. The first to jump in was a man who promptly piled his plate high with chicken before parking himself, legs spread wide, in the center of our living room’s only sofa. Others went through the line, and I followed, procured my meal, then slid into a corner spot on the floor which happened to be near the man on the couch.

I’d not taken two bites when the gentleman barely glanced my way and, while licking his fingers, said, “Hey sweetie, why don’t you be a good hostess and get me a drink? I’ll take iced tea.”

I blinked. Looked at him. Looked at his near empty plate. Looked at the others still waiting in line.

He glanced my way again, expectant.

Shy and uncomfortable at his use of “sweetie,” his assuming presence, and an awareness that his only interest in me wasn’t to recall my name but to get him something, I shook my head. “No need to ask permission,” I tried to joke it off quietly. “The cups are up there if you’d like one.”

To this day I can still recall the expression that flit across his face, along with the comment he quickly made about me being a rather rude girl. He then turned to his wife who’d just walked over with her plate, and said, “Hey hon, get me a drink before you sit down.”

No please. No thank you.

I stared. And decided right then and there that I did not want to be around him again.

When people ask me what inspired TO BEST THE BOYS there are a number of stories that come to mind. Some are my own. Others belong to my daughters, friends, mother, etc .

Perhaps this particular story popped up today because it’s easy to recount – it’s not very vulnerable, and on the surface it’s so incredibly simple. So menial. So long ago and explain-away-able.

And yet, in my experience, that tends to be a lot of how sexism exists. We know the big things. We recognize when it’s blatant. But the smaller encounters are harder to pinpoint. The ones that, on the surface, seem like they should be forgettable. The ones nuanced enough to create doubt or discomfort while giving a sense of pettiness if you were to raise a complaint.

And yet…something about them chips away at your core when you encounter them enough.

So if you’re asking what inspired my story about a girl entering a STEM competition to best a group of boys? Today, this is my answer. It was the big things, yes. But it was also the little things. The chipping away things. And the reality that some things and people and attitudes are in NEED of besting (and no, I’m not speaking of all men, which is quite obvious in the book). It’s a belief in every girl’s ability and right to guard that core inside of her that HAS A NAME. Not “sweetie” or “hostess” –  but a name she chooses to carry into the future of her own creation.

And anyone who says otherwise?

Is welcome to get their own silly drink.

-Mary Weber

Pre-order To Best the Boys now and submit your info here to receive:

An email download of:
(1) a To Best The Boys Labyrinth invitation
(2) a To Best The Boys labyrinth maze
(3) a To Best The Boys playlist
(4) a Bookish Rhen Paper Doll
(5) a brand new STORM SIREN short story ebook

View this post on Instagram

“Vincent, this is why we can’t have nice drinks in the lab. Because they spill.” . One of the things I learned from my bio-chemist sister while writing the lab scenes in TO BEST THE BOYS is that food & drinks are never allowed in the lab due to danger of contamination. Originally I had Rhen in her father’s lab sipping tea, making tea, enjoying ALL THE TEA – until my sister sent me a hot-minute-text saying NO WAY, NOT EVEN. . And so my foodie lab dream died. (Thx Kati😒) . That said – it’s probably a good idea because, ahem, as we all may know… I may or may not have a habit for spilling all drinks on my bedding. And my clothing. And especially on my jeans. At this point I’m beginning to think it’s like a gift I’m so good at it. So there’s that. . Btw – today’s #WatchUsRise prompt is “characters who refuse to fit in” – and that sums up both Rhen here in TBTB as well as my sister who’s worked suuuuper hard to be where she is today, and I’m so wildly proud of her. . Anyone have a favorite non-conformist character that comes to mind? Also – WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE DRINK TO START OFF THE MORNING?☕️ (Mine’s coffee with a bit of brown sugar & whipped cream🤪 Until I spill it.) . 💋 #tobesttheboys #bookstagram #RhenBestsThings

A post shared by Mary Weber – Author of books (@maryweberauthor) on


About Mary Weber

Mary Weber is the bestselling HarperCollins author of six books, including the Storm Siren TrilogyThe Evaporation of Sofi Snow series, and this year’s highly-acclaimed To Best the Boys. When not writing, Mary sings 80’s hairband songs to her three muggle children, and ogles her husband who looks strikingly like Wolverine. They live in California which is perfect for stalking aging superstars while wearing sweatpants and fannypacks.

Mary’s written for the Huffington Post, Hypable, and Hallmark, and her books have been endorsed by Marissa Meyer, Jonathan Maberry, and Shannon Messenger. You can also find Mary’s fun interview in the paperback of Marissa Meyer’s NYT bestselling, CRESS. To join in on her latest shenanigans or get writing and marketing tips, visit her Newsletter (maryweber.com).




Giveaway

Want to win a poster signed by all these amazing authors? Enter below (and stay tuned for more giveaways – we have lots coming up after the fest!). Prize pack hosted by What a Nerd Girl Says (no guarantee all authors can/will sign).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

February 26th

Spotlight on Abdi Nazemian – What A Nerd Girl Says

February 27th

Spotlight on Cindy Pon – Bookchelle

Spotlight on Suzanne Young – Movies Shows N Books

February 28th

Spotlight on Isabel Quintero – Read Now Sleep Later

March 1st

Spotlight on Amy Spalding – Nite Lite Book Reviews

Spotlight on Julie Buxbaum – My Fangirl Chronicles

March 2nd

Spotlight on Demetra Brodsky – Adventures of a Book Junkie

Spotlight on Kayla Cagan – Movies Shows N Books

March 3rd

Spotlight on Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka – BookCrushin’

March 4th

Spotlight on Jeff Sweat – Movies Shows n Books

Spotlight on Robin Reul – What A Nerd Girl Says

March 5th

Spotlight on Jessica Brody – The Readers Antidote

March 6th

Spotlight on Stephanie Garber – Adventures of a Book Junkie

March 7th

Spotlight on Jennifer Brody – Bookschief Managed

Spotlight on Carrie Arcos – Read Now Sleep Later

March 8th

Spotlight on Nicole Maggi – Bookchelle

Spotlight on Mary Weber – BookCrushin’You Are Here! Final post of the tour!



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2 responses to “Blog Tour & Giveaway: Ontario Teen Book Fest ft. Mary Weber

    • Trust me I was confused at first too, not being from California or Canada. Luckily I had Christy to set me straight.