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Dickensen Academy by Christine Grabowski - Book Tour + Giveaway

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Dickensen Academy
by Christine Grabowski


GENRE: Young YA - fantasy



Dickensen Academy isn’t a typical boarding school. The faculty is hiding an unbelievable secret 
within their fine arts program. When Autumn Mattison receives an invitation to attend the high school, 
she yearns to escape her overbearing father yet remains reluctant to leave her mother and brother. 
Her doubts fade away when a vivid dream convinces her she belongs there.

Away from home, Autumn discovers a unique school environment that awakens her creative potential, 
and her new friends become like a second family. However, as she uncovers more about the dark 
side of the school and struggles with its curriculum, she questions whether Dickensen Academy is 
truly where she belongs.

When tragedy strikes, Autumn must learn to believe in her own power and stand up to her greatest 
fear or risk having her memories destroyed to protect the school’s secrets. Caught between secrets 
and dreams, can she find her true self?



Clues to the secret existed from day one, yet they appeared to belong to separate puzzles. 
Most students either missed these signs or chose to ignore them. We were busy acclimating—
as the faculty called it—to a new environment. Some outsiders might call what they did to us those 
initial weeks a form of brainwashing or fostering a cult-like mentality.

But not me.

I agreed with Principal Locke. We weren’t ready. We needed time to separate from our families 
and become a cohesive group. And some of us, myself included, even needed a little nudge to 
accept the invitation. If someone had told us the truth on Day One why they’d brought us to 
Dickensen Academy, we would have never believed it. We’d think they were crazy. 
Or worse, we’d turn around and run back home. But if we left, we would have missed out on 
something extraordinary. Something worth the wait.


Interview with Christine Grabowski

1. What is the first book that made you cry?

I remember this so well. I was around 4th grade, and I was reading Where the Red Fern Grows. Tears were streaming down my face, and my mom had to ask what was wrong. I didn’t know a book could do that. Most animal books still will bring me to tears.

2. How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?

It’s tough to say because Dickensen Academy was my first book and when I began it, I was only writing about five hours a week. I also took several breaks to work on other projects and to let it sit before revising. But I’d guess it was about two years total. However, I expect to cut that down to one year for subsequent books now that I am a better writer and won’t have to revise so many times. I dream of the day when I can focus more on my writing and write two plus books a year. But between my responsibilities as a stay-at-home mom as well as being relatively new to the craft, I am not there yet. 

3. How do you select the names of your characters?

This was one of the most fun aspects of writing Dickensen Academy. I often picked names of family and friends. In the end, I had to cut the names in half when I realized readers don’t want a name for every insignificant character. Therefore, I had to shift the names around to ensure my kids and all six of my nieces and nephews were still in the book. I didn’t want to leave anyone out.

4. What fictional character would you want to be friends with in real life?

Edward Cullen from Twilight. I fell in love with him when reading the books. Besides wouldn’t it be nice to have a friend (or boyfriend) who would almost magically appear to rescue you from trouble.

5. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

I have two suggestions:
A - Don’t compare yourself to other writers. There is always going to be someone who has the better contract, better sales, more Facebook likes, etc. We all have our own writing journey to follow. However, comparisons to inspire you to do better is fine. Just don’t let it bring you down.

B – One of my favorite quotes is “the only difference between a published writer and an unpublished one is that one gave up.” This has kept me going through the ups and downs of the publication process. Again, don’t take it too literal. You have to keep working too.

6. What book do you wish you had written?

Let’s face it, Harry Potter. I don’t believe I need an explanation. The reasons are too many to list.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Dickensen Academy is Christine’s debut YA novel. After graduating from the University of Washington, 
she earned her MBA at the University at Albany. She honed her technical writing skills in marketing 
and consulting but attributes the creative part of the process to her passion for reading.

When she isn’t reading or writing, Christine can often be found running, skiing, or hiking. 
She lives in Newcastle, Washington, with her supportive husband, two avid teen readers, 
and their energetic wheaten terriers.

Buy Links:


Christine Grabowski will be awarding $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner 
via rafflecopter during the tour.

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  1. My family and I all appreciate you bringing to our attention the book description of another great book to read. Thanks so much!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping in again. FYI, since you started following my blog tour, the price of the eBook has dropped to $2.99 on Amazon and B&N.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Rita! FYI, since I began this blog and you started following it, the price of the eBook has dropped to $2.99 on Amazon and B&N.

  4. Happy Friday! Thanks for sharing the great post :)

    1. Happy Friday to you. Thank you for stopping in. FYI, since I began this blog and you started following it, the price of the eBook has dropped to $2.99 on Amazon and B&N.

  5. Thanks so much for hosting me today. I will be checking in to respond to any reader comments

  6. Happy Friday! Do you have any reading or writing plans for the weekend?

    1. I am working on the sequel for Dickensen Academy. But I'm also going to a quinceranera, my first, so that should be fun.

  7. How long did it take you to write your book? Congrats on the release. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

    1. It took me a year from start to release, but I'd assume it was about 2 years if you took out the other projects that caused lots of stops and starts


Please try not to spam posts with the same comments over and over again. Authors like seeing thoughtful comments about their books, not the same old, "I like the cover" or "sounds good" comments. While that is nice, putting some real thought and effort in is appreciated. Thank you.