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?
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.
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
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
Spotlight on Abdi Nazemian – What A Nerd Girl Says
Spotlight on Cindy Pon – Bookchelle
Spotlight on Suzanne Young – Movies Shows N Books
Spotlight on Isabel Quintero – Read Now Sleep Later
Spotlight on Amy Spalding – Nite Lite Book Reviews
Spotlight on Julie Buxbaum – My Fangirl Chronicles
Spotlight on Demetra Brodsky – Adventures of a Book Junkie
Spotlight on Kayla Cagan – Movies Shows N Books
Spotlight on Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka – BookCrushin’
Spotlight on Jeff Sweat – Movies Shows n Books
Spotlight on Robin Reul – What A Nerd Girl Says
Spotlight on Jessica Brody – The Readers Antidote
Spotlight on Stephanie Garber – Adventures of a Book Junkie
Spotlight on Jennifer Brody – Bookschief Managed
Spotlight on Carrie Arcos – Read Now Sleep Later
Spotlight on Nicole Maggi – Bookchelle
Spotlight on Mary Weber – BookCrushin’ – You Are Here! Final post of the tour!