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Monday, April 24, 2023

AWARENESS TOUR: The Metamorphosis of Emma Murry by Rebecca Laxton - GUEST POST + GIVEAWAY!

Earth Day has come and gone, but the messages of conservation to preserve the planet for our present and future generations is something to remember EVERY day.  Today's AWARENESS TOUR features a story that focuses in on a particular aspect of that, where butterflies, friendships and family hang in the balance for what sounds like a rather harrowing tale.  On tour now with The Children's Book Review, we've got our book spotlight set on this featured title PLUS a special GUEST POST from the author on the many places you'll write!  If that wasn't exciting enough, there's even a tour wide giveaway for your chance to win this very book and a whole lot more!  So, let's get this party started, and greet today's guest...

Rebecca Laxton
Illustrated by 
Gracie Laxton
Ages 10+ | 252 Pages
Warren Publishing, Inc

About the book...
Thirteen-year-old Emma Murry has three goals for summer vacation: finish her art terms project, land an ollie, and help the environmental club save the monarchs.

But then her Instagram crush Jeb Scott and his celebrity dad Chester make a surprise visit to Black Mountain. At first, Emma is thrilled, but then she overhears their plans to destroy the monarch butterfly garden to build a ski resort. She and her best friend Sophie add a new summer goal: STOP. THE. SCOTTS.

Emma ignores Sophie’s warnings and makes friends with Jeb, convinced she can change his mind. Then when Chester receives a mysterious death threat, Emma teams up with Jeb to investigate. She slowly discovers people are not what they seem as she attempts to untangle friendships, organize a protest, and uncover supernatural secrets hiding on the mountain.

Emma will have to go through her own metamorphosis by overcoming her fears and facing what she dreads. If she fails, she could jeopardize everything—butterflies, friendships, and her family.


~~~   GUEST POST   ~~~

Oh the Places You'll Write
with Author Rebecca Laxton

I graduated recently from mother hen to empty-nester. All four of my dear chickadees have now flown the coop and are in various phases of young adulthood, so my parenting requirements have changed dramatically. Now that I have more time and my writing routine is more conventional. I typically write on a laptop while sitting with my dogs on the couch, or maybe at my desk, or I might even go out to the porch if it’s a pretty day. I sip coffee as I write, letting the ideas flow from brain to fingertips without distractions, except for the occasional break to watch a gentle breeze brush the leaves outside. It’s peaceful and quiet, but sometimes a little too quiet. I try not to dwell on that.

Prior to being an empty nester, when I wrote The Metamorphosis of Emma Murry, my days were full and loud, each moment overflowing with the tasks of parenting twin teenagers—cooking, driving, talking, listening, watching, and waiting. I loved it and savored every blissful loud and messy moment. My daughter Gracie danced five days a week at a studio and took art classes uptown. My son Jacob played soccer on both rec teams and school teams, and took music lessons. They both attended our county’s magnet school, which was an hour round trip from our house. I found myself constantly in transit, carpooling the twins from one activity to another. While I didn’t necessarily enjoy all the driving, I loved the company, the conversations, and watching them thrive in their activities. There were deep conversations about their daily life, religion, politics, and the state of the planet, or more frivolous ones about musicians, dancers, and favorite YouTubers. These car trips gave me a front row seat to their metamorphosis from little kid to teen. 

If you want to write for tweens and teens, it really helps to have some around for content and context, and with twins there were always lots of kids around. My story ideas were constantly brewing and simmering, scenes percolating during those lively carpool conversations, or listening to the chatter that flowed through the dance studio, across the sidelines, or down the stairs of our home. But while my life was full of content, it was devoid of time.

I took a class once about writing on location. We left the confines of the classroom and ventured out into the world to observe and listen. It was a wonderful exercise that connected us directly to the sights, smells, tastes, and emotions of our story, enhancing our descriptions and giving our stories a real sense of place.

When I wrote The Metamorphosis of Emma Murry, I was constantly writing on location in the middle of real life, grabbing any moment that gave me the opportunity to jot down a scene, often on the notes app on my phone. I’d write in the car while waiting at a red light, sitting in the drop off line, or waiting in a parking lot. I’d write at the dance studio, piano lessons, soccer field, grocery store check-outs, on the top of mountains, in restaurants, and even while standing at the stove making eggs.  Although I wrote this way out of necessity, it seems to have enriched my novel, just like it did in the writing class. The Metamorphosis of Emma Murry has been praised for its realness. The BookLife reviewer said, “Writing teenagers who sound like teenagers is hard, but Laxton, drawing on her teaching experience, achieves this with aplomb. It’s easy to cringe along with Emma when she gets tongue-tied in front of her crush, worries if she’s a good enough friend, or faces her nerves over public speaking. She’s alive on the page as is Black Mountain itself, painted in vivid detail like local soda names and a raucous town hall meeting     ( BookLife review ).”  While my background in teaching and psychology definitely helped achieve this realness, I think it was mostly the twenty-four/seven of writing while parenting. 

For my birthday recently, my kids gave me a mug with the inscription, “I am a writer anything you say or do may be used in a story.” After unwrapping the mug, I looked up and laughed, nodding in agreement. The last of my twin’s teenage years are documented in the novel in one form or another. The characters are different, but the passions are the same—environmentalism, skateboarding tricks, art classes, posting music on Spotify, long hikes, visceral reactions to crushes, friendships that are hard, and friendships that are easy. The Metamorphosis of Emma Murry is about a teenager who fights an environmentally destructive development in her hometown as she attempts to solve a supernatural mystery. But for me, it will always be a snapshot in time of a life once lived in a home once filled with the most amazing young people.



Rebecca Laxton has served school communities as an afterschool program director, reading specialist, and school psychologist. While working for Boone County Schools, she was named the Kentucky School Psychologist of the Year for collaborating with teachers and administrators to write and evaluate an emotional intelligence curriculum.

Rebecca is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Charlotte Literary Arts, and the North Carolina Writers Association. Her short memoir, “Throw Like a Girl,” about playing on a mostly boys Little League team can be found in The Love of Baseball (McFarland 2017). Currently, she is a dyslexia practitioner and enjoys reading, writing and spending time in the Blue Ridge Mountains with her husband, four kids, and three dogs.

Rebecca invites you to visit her online at

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Gracie Laxton is a freelance graphic designer and dance choreographer from North Carolina but is currently based in New York City. A 2021 graduate of Central Academy of Technology and Arts in Monroe, NC, she studied art as part of The Savannah College of Art and Design’s high school joint enrollment program. Currently, she attends Marymount Manhattan College, pursuing degrees in dance and art.


~~~   GIVEAWAY   ~~~

One (1) grand prize winner receives:
A SWAG bag that includes:
- A signed hardcover copy of The Metamorphosis of Emma Murry
- A tote, puzzle, word search, small skateboard sticker, small butterfly sticker, and large vinyl butterfly sticker made with the illustrator's graphics.

Five (4) winners receive:
- A signed paperback copy of The Metamorphosis of Emma Murry


Special thanks to Bianca at The Children's Book Review for the chance to bring this tour to you and to the author for the guest post. (THANKS!)  This post is sponsored by Rebecca Laxton. The review and opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal view.  For more information on this title, the author, the publisher, this tour, or those on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above. Be sure to check out the rest of the stops on the tour for more bookish fun!


Monday, April 17, 2023
A book review of The Metamorphosis of Emma Murry

Tuesday, April 18, 2023
A book review of The Metamorphosis of Emma Murry

Wednesday, April 19, 2023
Author interview with Rebecca Laxton

Thursday, April 20, 2023
A book review of The Metamorphosis of Emma Murry

Friday, April 21, 2023
Author interview with Rebecca Laxton

Monday, April 23, 2023
A book review of The Metamorphosis of Emma Murry

Tuesday, April 24, 2023
An article by Rebecca Laxton

Wednesday, April 25, 2023
A book review of The Metamorphosis of Emma Murry

Thursday, April 26, 2023
Author interview with Rebecca Laxton

Friday, April 27, 2023
A book review of The Metamorphosis of Emma Murry

Monday, April 30, 2023
Author interview with Rebecca Laxton

Wednesday, May 10, 2023
A book giveaway of The Metamorphosis of Emma Murry

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

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