Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"Purple Moon" Blog Tour Kick Off!: The Story Behind the Story

I am thrilled to announce the kick off of the blog tour for my debut YA Christian fiction novel, PURPLE MOON (which releases Sept. 24 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas). You will not want to miss this! I will be stopping at 28 different blogs and sharing excerpts from my book, behind the scenes secrets, themes that are covered in PURPLE MOON, answering Q & As, and much more. There will also be contests to enter for your chance to win prizes, such as an autographed print/ebook version of my book, $20 gift card, Starbucks instant mocha (because who doesn't love coffee?!), etc. Also--by the end of the tour, three people will be chosen to win a the "Purple Moon" Prize Pack (see below!).

For those of you who are new to my blog, here is the back-cover-copy for PURPLE MOON:

Selena's life isn't turning out to be the fairy tale she imagined as a kid. That hope seemed to vanish long ago when her dad kicked her and her mom out of the house. This summer might finally hold the chance of a new beginning for Selena ... but having to live with her snobby cousin in Lake Lure, NC while waiting for her mom to get out of rehab wasn't how Selena was planning on spending her summer. She soon begins to wonder why she committed to give up her "bad habits" for this.

Things don't seem too bad, though. Especially when Selena gains the attention of the cute neighbor next door. But when her best friend back home in Brooklyn desperately needs her, a secret that's been hidden from Selena for years is revealed, and when she becomes a target for one of her cousin's nasty pranks, she finds herself having to face the scars from her past and the memories that come along with them. Will she follow her mom's example in running away, or trust that God still has a fairy tale life written just for her?

The Story Behind the Story

I first came up with the story idea for Purple Moon when I was fifteen. Since I'm more of a character-driven novelist, the protagonist  Selena, naturally came to my mind first. I pictured a teenage girl who is technically a "good girl" but has made mistakes and constantly deals with issues that many teens have to face. Selena's life is not what she imagined it would be as a kid, when all she could picture was a fairy tale. As a teenager and living with her alcoholic mother in a tiny apartment in Brooklyn, NY, Selena no longer feels as if she has a purpose in life. 

The emotional and spiritual arc of PURPLE MOON was greatly influenced by the song “By Your Side” by Tenth Avenue North, as well as the skit that many churches have performed to the song “Everything” by Lifehouse (which you can find on YouTube). I wanted PURPLE MOON to be a story about healing and forgiveness, but also one that would entertain teenagers. In summary, I wanted to write a clean book about a girl who I--and other teenagers--could relate to, as well as the kind of story that I would personally like to read myself.

Although I wanted PURPLE MOON to be a clean story, I wanted it to be genuine and not shy away from real issues that teenagers face today. I also tried to stay away from coming across as preachy yet without watering down the spiritual element. 

After writing the first version of PURPLE MOON when I was fifteen, I realized that it was not the story I wanted to write. I kept the main elements of that story, including protagonist, and started over in a brand new setting and plot. The first draft for Purple Moon was complete when I was sixteen. It was also then when I attended my first writing conference and met my soon-to-be publisher, Eddie Jones from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. 

As I continued learning more about the writing craft over the next couple of years, I kept wanting to go back and change/rewrites part of the story. However, when I was eighteen, I was finally satisfied with PURPLE MOON and decided to send it off to my editor.

I’ve had a blast creating Selena’s story, and I can only hope that this isn’t the end for her, but that one day I can have a sequel published for PURPLE MOON.

Needless to say, writing Selena's story has definitely been a journey. I can only hope that you will see the purpose behind PURPLE MOON and fall in love with the story the way that I have fallen in love with writing it. But most of all, I pray that you will come to experience the love, healing, and forgiveness that God has to offer—the chance to start brand new.

Fact or Fiction?:

Guess this fact or fiction, and be sure to stop by the next blog tour stop to see if you guessed correctly! (You’ll also receive one extra entry for the “Purple Moon” Prize Pack if you send me your guess.)

"Purple Moon" Prize Pack:

Two people will receive the below prizes--however, I will also be giving away one more prize pack (as well as two signed copies of my book) at my virtual launch party on Sept. 24th. RSVP by clicking here! a Rafflecopter giveaway

“Purple Moon” Blog Tour Stops:

Don’t forget to stop by the blog tour’s next stop to increase your chances of winning the PURPLE MOON Prize Pack!

Wednesday, September 18th: Purple Moon Blog Tour Launch: The Story Behind the Story: Christ is Write
Thursday, September 19th: 5 Facts about Purple Moon: Kim Vandel
Friday, September 20th: Character Sketches + Character Cast Contest: Who YA Reading?
Monday, September 23rd: Behind the Scenes: Why I Chose Lake Lure: Words to Dreams
Tuesday, September 24th: Release Day! Selena’s Diary Entry + Creative Photo Contest: Writing for Young Adults
Wednesday, September 25th: Austin’s Diary Entry: Amy’s Book Blog
Thursday, September 26th: Q & A: Notebook Sisters
 Friday, September 27th: Purple Moon Playlist: Ashley Carr  
Monday, September 30th: Purple Moon Excerpt: Wooden Swings: Heather Brice   
Tuesday, October 1st: Dealing With Anxiety—The Spiritual IV: The Destiny of One  
Wednesday, October 2nd: Q & A: Saved by Grace
Thursday, October 3rd: Behind the Scenes: Name Meanings: Labor Not In Vain
Friday, October 4th: Is It Okay To Be An Introvert?: Alex Inks It  
Monday, October 7th: Story Behind the Cover Art: Candy Apple Books
Tuesday, October 8th: Purple Moon Excerpt: Cherishing the Sunrise: Author Casey Bond
Wednesday, October 9th: Q & A: Writing While the Rice Boils
Thursday, October 10th: Behind the Scenes: Christian Human Videos: Writing in Wonderland  
Friday, October 11th: Teenage Substance Abuse: Emily Rachelle  
Monday, October 14th: Behind the Scenes: Lake Lure Academy of the Arts: Worthy 2 Read
Tuesday, October 15th: My Middle & High School Experience: Hello Highlights  
Wednesday, October 16th: Purple Moon Excerpt: Meatless Turkey Sandwich: Diane Estrella  
Thursday, October 17th: Body Image Laurel’s Leaves
Friday, October 18th: Behind the Scenes: Brewer’s Coffee: A Splash of Ink
Monday, October 21st: Purple Moon Excerpt: Farkle at the Park: A Slightly Nerdy Bookworm
Tuesday, October 22nd: Teenage Dating: Tell The World
Wednesday, October 23rd: Q & A: The YA Book Stack
 Thursday, October 24th: How Much of My Personal Life Did I Put Into “Purple Moon”?: Read For Your Future
Friday, October 25th: Fairy tales & Happy Endings + Contest Winners!: Inspiring Daring


  1. So excited for this book! Not enough YA christian books out there, glad to see one that looks amazing!

    1. Thanks, Laura! And I agree--the YA Christian fiction market is dwindling down tremendously. I definitely think there should be more books in this genre.

  2. Really want to buy this book when it is published!

  3. Really looking forward to reading this!

  4. Hi Tessa! Just wanted to say I am honoured to be a part f the blog tour! I absolutely enjoyed Purple Moon (which was a great read and even better since I took it away on vacation with me. It was a great beach read!). From the moment I started reading, I couldn't wait to see what happened next. The first question I asked myself when I was done was, "Is thee going to be a sequel?" and I'm glad you said there will be!

    You have done an amazing job with this novel. May God continue to use you!

    Blessings, Titi Funto.

    Tell the World

    1. Thank you so much, Funto! I'm really glad to hear that you enjoyed it. =) I am writing the next book in the series, however whether or not it will be published depends on the sales of "Purple Moon". So keep crossing your fingers!

  5. I can already tell that this blog tour is going to be such a blast! :)

  6. Sounds like a great book. I'm glad that Tessa got it published!

  7. Congrats on your release!!! Can't wait to read it:)

  8. I can't wait to read your book. :D Would you mind if I reviewed it on my blog after I finish reading it? I read the first page and loved it!


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