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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Rockstar Book Tours presents... ON THE WAY TO BIRDLAND by Frank Morelli - GUEST POST + GIVEAWAY!


I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the ON THE WAY TO BIRDLAND by Frank Morelli Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my special GUEST POST below and be sure to enter the giveaway before you go!



Author: Frank Morelli

Pub. Date: June 8, 2021

Publisher: Fish Out of Water Books

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 300

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, B&N, TBD,

Self-proclaimed teenage philosopher Cordell Wheaton lives in a sleepy, southern town where nothing ever happens; not since his hero, jazz musician John Coltrane, left some seventy years earlier to “follow the sound.” Cordy’s life has been unraveling since the night his father and his brother, Travis, exploded on each other. The night Travis’s addiction transformed him from budding musician into something entirely different. The night Travis took his saxophone and disappeared. When Cordy’s father falls ill, the sixteen-year-old vows to reunite the Wheaton family. He embarks on a modern-day odyssey with forty bucks in his pocket and a dream to find his brother and convince him to be Travis again—by taking him to a show at Birdland Jazz Club in New York City, and reminding him of the common bonds they share with their legendary hero. Cordy’s journey is soon haunted by ghostly visions, traumatic dreams, and disembodied voices that echo through his mind. He starts to wonder if the voices are those of the fates, guiding him toward his destiny—or if he’s losing his grip on reality.

“Engrossing story and sympathetic characters. Morelli…makes it worth the trip.”—Booklist

“With a haunting secret, a brave journey and fascinating characters, On the Way to Birdland will remind readers that when you take a giant step into the unfamiliar, you might just find yourself.” —Joelle Charbonneau, New York Times Best Selling author of VERIFY and DISCLOSE

On the Way to Birdland is a work of tremendous heart.  It sings with the joys and pains of family, hope, and impossible dreams.  A must read for everyone trying to find their way back to what matters most.”—Adrienne Kisner, Author of DEAR RACHEL MADDOW, THE CONFUSION OF LAUREL GRAHAM, and SIX ANGRY GIRLS

“Listening to and believing in our fears keeps away from a life we wish for. On the Way to Birdland shows us what’s possible when we listen to something else.”—Angelo Surmelis, author of THE DANGEROUS ART OF BLENDING IN

“With balance, beats, and rhythm, this heartfelt coming-of-age story is bridged together like a Coltrane riff under Frank Morelli’s skillful hand. ON THE WAY TO BIRDLAND and its cast of diverse, fully fleshed-out characters are now included among My Favorite Things.” Brenda Rufener, Author of SINCE WE LAST SPOKE and WHERE I LIVE

“A classic tale of choice and chance, with more twists than a Virginia mountain road, On the Way to Birdland is a guide to finding your true self by accepting that you are ‘completely destructible…desperate not to get destroyed.'” —Valerie Nieman, author of TO THE BONES and BACKWATER (Fitzroy, 2022)


My Top Five Favorite Movies of All Time

By Frank Morelli

As an author and a teacher, I spend most of my time reading. Sometimes I have the time and headspace to read or reread classic works of literature. Other times, I only have the mental willpower for a gentle beach read. And then, of course, there are the times when my mind gets barraged by essays and research papers and grammar assessments written by middle school students. Those are the times when I need a little palate cleanser, when a movie is the only cure for what ails me. When I need a Hollywood director to take the weight off and do all of my thinking for me, these are the five films I go back to time and time again.

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The Princess Bride (1987)

For me, it is literally INCONCEIVABLE to go a few months without re-upping my memory of this cult classic, which features one of my favorite characters in cinematic history: Inigo Montoya. A more loyal gentleman has never existed. I love the format of this film, in how it lends itself to a grandfather reading to his sick grandchild while the rodents of unusual size scurry around in our minds. Y’all, do me a favor: please do not remake this one or I’ll cry.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

I’m a huge fan of Morgan Freeman’s body of work, but nothing hits me harder than The Shawshank Redemption. If you are unaware, the film is actually an adaptation of Stephen King’s classic novella, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, and I’d be hard-pressed to deny this film brings together the talents of one of my favorite actors and one of my favorite horror novelists. To go even deeper, however, there’s no scene in film history that gets the waterworks flowing for me than the one in which Freeman’s character uncovers the money and the note left to him by his friend, the wrongly accused Andy Dufresne.

The Sandlot (1993)

If you know me personally, you know I live and breathe baseball. There’s no film in history that captures the childhood glow of the game better than The Sandlot. If you don’t fall in love with Squints, Ham, and Benny “the Jet” Rodriguez after watching this film for the first time, then I’d be forced to question your humanity. The Sandlot brings us back to simpler times, when kids could be on the ballfield playing from dawn until dusk and living out their World Series dreams just a stone’s-throw from their front porches.

The Artist (2011)

First of all, I love dogs and the dog in this film is easily the smartest and cutest pooch I’ve ever seen. Beyond the cuteness, however, is a film that takes us back to the silent film era and uses period cinematic techniques, lighting schemes, musical compositions, and even the toggling of color to set itself apart from every film I’ve seen in recent memory.

Groundhog Day (1993)

To words: Bill Murray. He’s a comedic genius and also the main attraction in one of the most popular movies of all time. What I love about Groundhog Day is that it’s basically a laugh a minute but, in true Bill Murray fashion, delves into some really deep philosophical questions. I mean, what would you do in a world where you (and only you) live the same day over and over? Sounds like a dream, right? Sounds like you could totally game the system, right? But then there’s the sequence in the film where Bill Murray’s character no longer wants to live, and the one where he kidnaps and attempts to murder Punxatawney Phil. Bottom line, this film makes you think...but only in the most gloriously comedic of ways.


About Frank Morelli:

Frank Morelli is the author of the young adult novel, No Sad Songs (2018), a YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers nominee and winner of an American Fiction Award for best coming of age story. The first book in his debut middle grade series, Please Return To: Norbert M. Finkelstein (2019) is a Book Excellence Award finalist and provides young readers with a roadmap to end bullying. His fiction and essays have been featured in various publications including The Saturday Evening Post, Cobalt Review, Philadelphia Stories, and Highlights Magazine.

A Philadelphia native, Morelli now resides in High Point, NC with a brilliant illustrator and his fur babies. Connect with him on Twitter @frankmoewriter and on Instagram @frankmorelliauthor.

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of ON THE WAY TO BIRDLAND, US Only.

Tour Schedule:

Week One:


Rockstar Book Tours

Kickoff Post


Two Chicks on Books



Jaime's World




Instagram Post


YA Books Central

Guest Post

Week Two:


Fire and Ice



Living in a Bookworld

Guest Post


Rajiv's Reviews








Week Three:





The Keysmash Blog



Dorky Girl and Skeletor



The Obsessed Reader



Lady Hawkeye


Week Four:


I'm Shelfish



A Dream Within A Dream



Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Guest Post


For the Love of KidLit



The Momma Spot


Special thanks to Rockstar Book Tours for the chance to bring this tour to you as well as to the author for the film-tastic Guest Post!  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, this tour, or those to come, feel free to click through the links provided above.

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!

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