Sunday, June 27, 2021

Cruel Summer by Bernard Jan - Book Tour + Giveaway

Cruel Summer
by Bernard Jan
Genre: YA Cross-Genre, Dystopian, Sexual Abuse, Skateboarding

All he wants to do is skate. But they have other plans for him.

Michael Daniels is seventeen and dreams to enter professional skateboarding contests. But beneath New Manhattan, a city under the oppressive shadow of climate change, exists another world altogether—secret laboratories which threaten society as he knows it.

Those with power will get what they want. No price is too high, even if it means making someone special or robbing them of their dignity, freedom . . . or life.

The price is too high for Michael, though. He has endured his stepfather’s abuse and mind games for almost as long as he remembers. Until one day he takes matters into his own hands, ruining the lives of those he loves most. And his skateboarding friends, Alien and Victor, are his only hope for freedom.

When there is no hope left, friendship is what remains.

Order your copy of this gripping, unexpected, strong, and emotional, Young Adult cross-genre novel by Bernard Jan, the author of January RiverLook for Me Under the Rainbow, and A World Without Color.

**Help the author with your vote for Cruel Summer in 
TCK Publishing Reader’s Choice Awards 2021 contest.!**
To cast your vote please use the arrows to navigate to the page 12/16 YA and Middle Grade book category. 
When you are there, scroll down to Cruel Summer by Bernard Jan and click on the book. And that should be it!

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

 I don’t think I would change anything in my latest book if I had to do it all over again. I would try to do something else about my book though, to write it as a screenplay too. This is something I didn’t try yet, let alone mastered it. So I will leave that to professionals.


Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

 I learned a lot during the writing of Cruel Summer. I studied skateboarding tricks (even though I didn’t learn how to do them with my board); I observed the skateboarding subculture, their way of life. Every book requires research, so there is always something new to learn during the writing process. Including the psychology of your characters and how they respond to challenges and behave under pressure.


If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

 Gosh, I am not too familiar with teenage popular actors. If he was a bit younger, that would be Timothée Chalamet. I can easily see him as Michael, having in mind his posture and the ability to transform himself into the character he is playing. He would be awesome as Michael. And his boyish looks help him look younger. So, yeah, let it be Timothée!


Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

 Yeah, I want to tell my readers to please give Cruel Summer a chance. You can judge it by its cover but don’t judge it by the blurb only haha. Seriously, it is such a multi-layered story it is impossible to write all that is going on in a short blurb. It’s like an open field full of various flowers and everyone can find the flowers they love. Younger readers, older readers, lovers of sports, drama, poetry. Conspiracy, dystopia, family issues, abuse, music. Blooming teen love. New York at the end of the millennium. It’s a mix that functions well, according to my reviewers. And I agree with them.

 When you read the book, please leave an honest review on Amazon and Goodreads. Even a sentence or two will do. Just be honest about it and say what you think. It means a lot to the characters you have spent a few precious moments of your time with. It means life or death to Michael, Alien, Victor, Rebecca, and their friends. They live thanks to your reviews and as long as you remember them.


How did you come up with name of this book?

I love summer; I love sun and light and my best memories from my inline skating and skateboarding days happened during summer. Summer was the season in which I wanted my story to happen, but the season that would be cruel to my protagonists. In terms of climate change, but also in their personal life and things that were happening in their society. Being a huge fan of the song “Cruel Summer” by Bananarama, which I hum a lot during summer, was the last incentive in the right direction for my book title.


What is your favorite part of this book and why?

 My favorite parts of the book are the parts when Michael talks to his mother at her grave. While talking to his dead mother, Michael reveals how he feels, what he dreams about, his plans, fears. Those are very emotional moments, and I am a sucker for emotional stories. I also like the parts with Michael and Alien, the intimacy, warmth and strength of their friendship. The parts with Victor and his nana are too personal and I look at them differently. I also love the innocent beauty and spontaneousness which happens between Rebecca and Red Sunshine. It’s hard for me to speak in the singular when the answer demands to be in plural. Cruel Summer has a few layers and depending on the mood and the type of the reader, everyone will find something different, something they like best about this book.


If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

 If I could spend time with a character from my book, it would be Michael. I would spend it with Michael. Because I owe him so much. And I feel so protective of him. I really love this character. Do you need to ask me what we would do during that day hehe? We would skateboard up and down Manhattan! I mean, he would skateboard, trying to teach me some tricks. We would hang around his favorite places and hopefully meet Alien, because I would like to spend time with that sci-fi fan and freak too. He is super cool and the three of us would have a whale of a time together!


Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

 Details of some of my characters are based on real people. But the characters as people are the product of my crazy imagination.


Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reins of the story?

 Both! We played tug of war all the time! But the ending was mine, and that counts, right? Wink wink.


Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.

 One thing I will always be honest about is that I suck at marketing. Maybe this is not something my potential new readers or fans want to hear, but l want to be honest. What I could tell you with all my honesty is that my book was a must write. It boiled in me with love, passion, and emotion until it burst out of me. I love this story too much to keep it in me and my diminishing memory. It is the story I had to give life to and share with others. Because it deserves to be told and retold. If you feel at least some of the passion and the power of emotion I poured into it, you will know what I am talking about. If it clicks with you on one tiny personal level, you will know why this story is also personal to me. Some things are just meant to happen. That’s why you are reading about Cruel Summer now.


Have you written any other books that are not published?

 All of my books are published either in Croatian or in English as their translations. However, I am not planning on translating all of my books into English. Some things and demons I prefer to leave in the past.


If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?

 If my book had a candle, it would be my readers’ favorite scent. Because I would love it to resonate with them on such a deep, intimate and emotional level.


What did you edit out of this book?

 My first Croatian editor edited out the parts of the book which she thought were too long or irrelevant to the story. She wanted the book to be more compact and fluent. Despite this editing out, it is still a long read. I didn’t edit out anything from my English translation but have corrected a couple of things regarding the years of some events my editor and I haven’t noticed in the original version.


Is there an writer which brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?

 There are quite a few of them! But let’s say my first choice would be Mr. King! His brain seems to be out of this world, which is a perfect match to how I feel most of the time.

"There is no greater joy than to share what you love with those who appreciate it."--Bernard Jan
My pen name is Bernard Jan. I am an award-winning novelist and a poet from Croatia, and I have released four books in English. I am Readers' Favorite Gold Medalist 2020 and Readers' Favorite Bronze Medalist 2019.

"A World Without Color" is a true story of the last three days I spent with my cat, while "Look for Me Under the Rainbow" in a unique and gentle way sheds light on the plight of harp seal pups in Canada. It warms the heart of all readers concerned about our planet and its treasures. "January River" is a heartwarming cross-genre novel about five friends, one dog, and one river carrying a secret. "Cruel Summer" is a gripping young adult cross-genre novel about an abused teenager from New Manhattan who only wants to skate, but they have other plans for him.

My first two books were written at the beginning of the war in Croatia in 1991 amidst air alerts and illusory attempts when I wanted to believe and think that life is normal, that everything is all right with the world. I have published five novels, two novellas, and one book of poems in Croatian. Four of my books, including the book of poems, were translated into English.

My passion for music and entertainment resulted in my becoming a partner of Tom's Music Place, which was established in 2009 by my friend Thomas Carley Jr., whose objective was to raise the respect of music.

My desire to help others came to the fore during my years advocating environmental protection and advocacy of animal rights. I did volunteering work for the refugees, because suffering does not know any borders. When it comes within your reach in your home, you simply have to do something. As part of my animal advocacy activities, it has been a great honor and pleasure to translate "Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust" by Charles Patterson into Croatian.

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Cruel Summer paperback – 1 winner,
Cruel Summer eBooks – 2 winners,
January River eBooks – 2 winners,
Look for Me Under the Rainbow eBooks – 2 winners,
A World Without Color eBooks – 2 winners,
$10 Amazon gift card – 1 winner

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