Thursday, November 1, 2018

Borrowed Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway

Today I'm taking part in the blog tour for Borrowed by Lucia DiStefano :D I have not read this book, but I might do it one day, because it seems pretty much amazing. I do not often read contemporary books, but this one looks great. And a bit heartbreaking. And I'm hoping to have the time to read it soon. Huge thank you to the publisher, Elephant Rock Books, for letting me take part in this awesome blog tour. Today I am sharing a great guest post by Lucia and sharing a bit about the book too, and hosting a US giveaway for two copies of this book being sent by the publisher :D Borrowed looks gorgeous and sounds stunning too.

Guest Post by Lucia DiStefano.

“Write what you know.” Common wisdom, right? I had it memorized before I was tall enough for even the TeaCup ride, and I remember feeling constrained by it. After all, writing a few stories had already exhausted what I knew in my young life. I didn’t want to stop scribbling in order to gather more knowledge, and anyway, most of what passed for story-worthy knowledge those days came from spying on neighbors, most of whom wisely kept their private lives behind the privet.

But in the decades after I shed that obnoxiously lurky kid-self, I’ve come to see that common wisdom sometimes deserves to be questioned. Sure, maybe the advice to write what you know makes sense: won’t the piece feel more accomplished when it explores a topic with which you can claim a certain level of expertise? Won’t the whole thing be better crafted if you can adroitly work in the requisite details? Maybe, but…

When I heard the better advice to “write what you want to know,” a whole lotta doors were kicked in for me. Ah, the power of one wee word. (Well, technically, one wee word plus a wee preposition.)

I believe that curiosity is every bit as important as knowledge when it comes to writing, and, when it comes to fiction specifically, perhaps even more important.

It’s said that if you want to learn how to do something really well, teach it to someone else. And I’d extend that further: If you want to know someone/something really well, draw them in your own words. I would hazard to say that writing is always an act of exploration, whatever the subject or however humble the platform. But to push past what you can comfortably write about and step into the chancier unknown-but-wanna-know takes a willingness to risk (which means a willingness to fail, if failing means getting it wrong).

“How can I write what I don’t know, though?” you may be asking. “Like, doesn’t knowing come first, before the writing?” Permit me to borrow wisdom from Anne Lamott and Ernest Hemingway: The “how” arrives in unapologetically shitty first drafts.

And that brings me to my favorite P-word. (Not popcorn, although the bag of peanut butter-coated popcorn I once wolfed down in Fredericksburg, Texas was pretty amazing, so maybe I should consider peanut butter and popcorn as runners-up P-words.) 


To write what you want to know rests on the foundation of giving yourself permission first to not already know everything worth knowing. (I know you know that, but you’d be amazed at how many people think that, if they don’t know something, it’s not worth knowing. Hmmm…four “knows” in one sentence. Not bad.)

And then it means giving yourself permission to explore (aka to play, which is another powerful P-word pertaining to writing). Permission to coast on “what if?” while you’re sussing out the whys and hows. Permission to write something that only pleases you as the first steps on the journey toward writing something that you’ll be proud to share with others. And permission to inhabit worlds and people you may never know experientially, but you can know through the transformative power of creativity.

For instance, my journey from flickery first idea to finished novel began with wanting to know what it would be like to feel the self you knew slip away as another self, one you hadn’t invited, took over. (The closest I ever came to that was the occasional reverse deja vu moment when I should’ve remembered something but didn’t. Hardly a parallel.)

I could have let the fact that I haven’t had a dramatic and sudden event causing me to question my personal identity stop me from exploring it via story and characters and language. I could have…

As Flannery O’Connor famously said, “I write to discover what I know,” which assumes that we know more than we give ourselves credit for (which also assumes different ways of knowing and various levels of knowing, which is a mega-discussion best left for another day, when you have time to sit with me over a cuppa something hot).

When you give yourself permission to wonder before you know, and when you permit yourself to engage in discovery through dreaming and plotting and writing, you dramatically expand the world for your first and most important reader: you.

Official release date: November 1st 2018. 264 Pages.  

Love, mystery, and danger collide in this new literary thriller with the dark heart of a Gillian Flynn novel and the lyrical prose of Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun.

A triumph of authenticity, grace, and nail-biting suspense, Lucia DiStefano’s ingenious debut is an unflinching, genre-bending page-turner.

As seventeen-year-old Linnea celebrates the first anniversary of her heart transplant, she can’t escape the feeling that the wires have been crossed. After a series of unsettling dreams, inked messages mysteriously appear on her body, and she starts to wonder if this new heart belongs to her at all.

In another Austin neighborhood, Maxine braces for a heartbreaking anniversary: her sister Harper’s death. Between raising her brothers and parenting her grief-stricken mother, Max is unable to ignore her guilty crush on Harper’s old flame or shake her lingering suspicion that her sister’s drowning wasn’t really an accident. With Harper as the sole connection, Linnea and Maxine are soon brought together in fantastic and terrifying ways as the shocking truth behind Harper’s death comes to light.

A former high school English teacher, Lucia DiStefano currently works as an editor, ghostwriter, and writing coach. First-generation Sicilian-American and daughter of an olive farmer, she admits to having recurring pasta dreams. Hailing from central Connecticut, Lucia lives near Austin, Texas with her husband and an old bloodhound named Waffle.

Where to find Lucia DiStefano:

Giveaway Rules.
US. Two Winners.
Books sent by publisher.
Ends on November 22nd 2018.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Publisher's book page here.

Blog Tour Schedule:

August 1: Cover reveal at YA Interrobang
September 4: Review at Alice Reeds
September 10: Author interview at Alice Reeds
September 24: Cover reveal at BubblersRead
October 8: Review at Liz Loves Books  
October 9-15: Giveaway at Miss Print
October 15: Review at BubblersRead
October 17: Guest post at Liz Loves Books
October 22: Excerpt at YA Interrobang
October 25: Author interview at YA Outside the Lines  
October 31: Author interview at Katya de Becerra: The Last Day of Normal
November 1: Giveaway and guest post at Carina’s Books
November 5: Author interview at BubblersRead
November 12: Author guest post at BubblersRead
Week of November 12: Author interview at Cynsations
November 20: Author interview at The Story Sanctuary
And more to come, including a podcast special at The Writing Barn and an event with book blogger, reviewer, and YouTuber BookRatMisty!
Like Elephant Rock on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @ElephantRockBks for book and blog tour news and updates!


  1. Hello Carina, I love your blog it is so beautiful and well written. You are very much talented. Have ever though about writing a book?
    I am writing my first novel.

  2. I love the idea of write what you want to know. Great post! Best of luck!


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