Tuesday, June 15, 2010

GCC Tours Wendy Toliver

This week, we are touring Wendy Toliver and her amazing new book, Lifted!

Being Bad Never Felt So Good.

Poppy Browne had never stolen anything in her life before moving to Pleasant Acres, Texas and meeting Mary Jane and Whitney. But when Poppy walks out of the mall with her two new friends and her first pair of stolen jeans, she’s hooked.

Before long, Poppy is lifting whenever she gets the urge—it’s never about the merchandise, it’s always about the thrill. But when her secret gets out, the girls in Poppy’s clique turn on one another. As she watches her life collapse around her, Poppy must decide where her loyalties lie … and how far she’ll go to protect herself.

About Wendy Toliver

Born in Texas, raised in Colorado, and now living in Utah, Wendy Toliver has successfully eliminated “y’all” from her vocabulary. However, she still managed to marry a pickup man. They have three young sons and an assortment of furry, scaly, and slimy pets. She is the author of three novels for teens: The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren, Miss Match, and Lifted.





Book Trailer Link

What People Are Saying About Lifted

“Smart, deftly written, and extremely well-observed, Wendy Toliver’s Lifted is so realistic and moving I felt like I was transported right inside Poppy’s world, watching as she struggled to navigate her way through a school where appearances are deceiving and no one is quite what they seem. A hard to put down, compelling read!”
Alyson Noël, #1 New York Times Best Selling author of The Immortals series

"Lifted is the story of an imperfect heroine seeking her place not only in school, but in life. Its exploration of the amount of truth behind social and religious stereotypes escalates into a double-dog dare to believe them. A haunting morality tale that will leave you questioning just what it means to be "good."
Aprilynne Pike, author of the #1 New York Times Best-Selling novel Wings

Lifted by Wendy Toliver is an amazing, compelling read, filled with all the realness of being in high school, from humor to love to angst. I haven't met a character so well developed as Poppy since reading Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. At times heartbreaking, at others uplifting, Lifted is a book that I absolutely loved."
James Dashner, author of The Maze Runner and the13th Reality series


Poor Poppy Browne! Her mother, an attractive but uptight college professor, has moved her from hip Colorado to bucolic Pleasant Acres, Texas, saying that she is doing it for Poppy's benefit. Even worse, she has to make a go of it in a conservative Baptist school. Calvary High, though, proves to be a much more interesting place than Poppy had imagined. Initially, it is all a bit straight-laced and humdrum, but when she makes friends with popular Mary Jane and Whitney, her life becomes more intriguing. The two girls, top students and role models, prove to be accomplished shoplifters. When they introduce Poppy to their pastime, she is instantly hooked—and it is not the merchandise—it is the thrill of the chase, the charge of getting away with something. Then, one of her friends informs on her, and as her world comes crashing down, Poppy has to figure out what her values really are. The writing and characterization are both decent, with enough contemporary slang and topical references for teens to relate. Plot driven, yes, indeed; but in the category of light read, this rates well on the girl interest scale. A strictly additional purchase, this is excellent beach reading for those seeking mean girl-fare with a soupcon of romance. Reviewer: Ann Welton


Especially well drawn is Poppy’s crush, a quirky, sincere minister’s son, who—as Poppy’s world spins out of control—comforts her with unconditional support: “We all make mistakes. It says so in the Bible, so it’s gotta be true.” Will appeal to all teens interested in wayward behavior. Reviewer: Karen Cruze


Wendy is running a contest on her website,, the entire month of June. Simply click on the “contact” button and send her a message including the word “contest,” your name, and your U.S. mailing address. (If you’re under the age of 14, please get permission from your parents/guardians first.) She will be giving away gift cards to Border’s, signed copies of Lifted, as well as other fun prizes. One entry per person, please.

My Interview with Wendy:

1. First topic: Revenge. What is your experience with it? Have you ever sought revenge? As the old adage goes, do you think that living well is the best revenge?

I definitely believe in that old adage. I also believe in karma. As for actually seeking revenge on someone, I’m drawing a blank. I’ve done little things, like slap a guy who got too fresh with me—and yes, it felt great.

2. Cliques and mean girls are everywhere. At
book signings I've had everyone from 12 year old girls to 45 year old women tell me they still encounter them. Do you? How has it changed since you were a teen?

Yes they are everywhere and it’s so pathetic. I live in a tiny town and it’s amazing how there are certain groups of ladies who are, in essence, “mean girls.” In fact, I think it’s gotten worse since high school because I can’t really remember a particular group of girls being mean to me back then. Of course, as an adult you’re not forced to sit in class or be lab partners with “mean girls” so I just try and stay away from them as much as possible. I think it’s best to surround yourself with people who have your back and pat you on your back, not people who stab you in your back.

3. I have a "Writing Music" playlist on my iPod. What would be on yours? What one song or artist captures the essence of your book?

“Just Dance” by Lady Gaga, anything by Evanescense, “Call Out” by Kaskade (featuring Mindy Gledhill), and, just for fun, "Got Caught Stealin'" by Jane's Addiction. I think the song that captures the essence of Lifted is “The Fear” by Lily Allen.

4. What do you tell people is your favorite book/author? Now what is your "real" favorite book/author. (i.e. I tell people Pale Fire by Nabokov is my fave, but right now I'm really into Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea.)

Ha! Great question, but tough, too, because honestly, my “real” favorite book changes so often. I’ll give it a shot, though. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens or The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (MKH NOTE: I LOVE OSCAR WILDE TOO!!) are the ones I tell people. Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick and Snitch by Allison Van Diepen are two of my recent (and real) favorites.

5. If you could swap lives with anyone for a day, who would it be and why?

If I could actually go into someone’s body for a day, I’d love to be in some kind of extreme (think X-games) athlete’s body. Maybe BMX freestyle street competitor Benjamin Shenker. (How do those guys DO that?!?)

6. Who would be in your dream cast if your book was made into a movie or television series? (And multimillion dollar salaries were no issue--they'd all do it for free!)

Poppy Browne—AnnaSophia Robb

Poppy’s mom—Reece Witherspoon

Mary Jane Portman—Meaghan Jette Martin (Bianca Stratford in the TV series “10 Things I Hate About You”)

Whitney Nickels—Keke Palmer (True Jackson on the “True Jackson, VP” TV series)

Gabe Valdez—Taylor Lautner

David Hillcrest—Logan Lerman (Percy in “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightening Thief” movie)

Bridgette Josephs—Skyler Samuels (Amber from the movie “Furry Vengence”)

7. As a publicist, I know that it's important for every novel to have journalistic hook. For The Lost Sister, it's mean girls, bullies and hazing. What's yours?

Shoplifting. Specifically, teens who shoplift.

8. Just because it hasn't been asked yet, favorite 1980's movie?

Pretty in Pink.

9. Why should I choose your book for my book club?

Lifted is a great choice for a book club because it brings up all sorts of discussions and debates.

It is full of great discussion and debate issues, including moral perspective (are Poppy, Mary Jane, Whitney, and/or Bridgette “bad”?), the turbulent state of relationships (mother-daughter, friend, society-teen, and romantic), the effect of religion on a person and on a town, the pressures of high school, how one’s past impacts one’s destiny, and, of course, the sticky issue of shoplifting. I’ve already heard about some book clubs ordering Lifted and I am excited to hear how it goes.

10. I'm a huge and fabulously powerful movie producer and you have 30 seconds (an elevator pitch) to sell me on why your book is great and should be made into a movie. Go!

Fifteen year-old Poppy Browne isn’t happy about having to move to a Bible belt town in Texas, but it helps when two of the most popular girls at the private Baptist high school take her under their wings. To her surprise, they’re shoplifters, and she soon learns their secret pastime gives her an amazing rush. With her relationship with her mom on the rocks and the rest of her world crumbling around her, she must decide where her loyalties lie and just how far she’ll go to protect those she loves, as well as herself.

LIFTED by Wendy Toliver

Simon Pulse

Release Date: June 8, 2010
ISBN-10: 1-4169-9048-8
ISBN-13: 978-1-4169-9048-2
Ages: 14 and up
Grades: 9 and up


Megan, thanks so much for the interview! :)