YA Spotlight & Excerpt: On the Way to Birdland by Frank Morelli…plus a giveaway!

 

About the Book:

Title: ON THE WAY TO
BIRDLAND

Author: Frank Morelli

Pub. Date: June 8, 2021

Publisher: Fish Out of Water Books

Self-proclaimed teenage philosopher Cordell Wheaton lives in a sleepy,
southern town where nothing ever happens; not since his hero, jazz musician
John Coltrane, left some seventy years earlier to “follow the sound.” Cordy’s
life has been unraveling since the night his father and his brother, Travis,
exploded on each other. The night Travis’s addiction transformed him from
budding musician into something entirely different. The night Travis took his
saxophone and disappeared. When Cordy’s father falls ill, the sixteen-year-old vows to reunite the Wheaton family. He embarks on a modern-day odyssey with forty bucks in his pocket and a dream to find his brother and convince him to be Travis again—by taking him to a show at Birdland Jazz Club in New York City, and reminding him of the common bonds they share with their legendary hero. Cordy’s journey is soon haunted by ghostly visions, traumatic dreams, and disembodied voices that echo through his mind. He starts to wonder if the voices are those of the fates, guiding him toward his destiny—or if he’s losing his grip on reality.

Praise for ON THE WAY TO BIRDLAND:
“Engrossing story and sympathetic characters. Morelli…makes it worth the trip.”—Booklist

“With a haunting secret, a brave journey and fascinating characters, On the Way to Birdland will remind readers that when you take a giant step into the unfamiliar, you might just find yourself.” —Joelle Charbonneau, New York Times Best Selling author of VERIFY and DISCLOSE

On the Way to Birdland is a work of tremendous heart.  It sings with the joys and pains of family, hope, and impossible dreams. A must read for everyone trying to find their way back to what matters most.”—Adrienne Kisner, Author of DEAR RACHEL MADDOW, THE CONFUSION OF LAUREL GRAHAM, and SIX ANGRY GIRLS

“Listening to and believing in our fears keeps away from a life we wish for. On the Way to Birdland shows us what’s possible when we listen to something else.”—Angelo Surmelis, author of THE DANGEROUS ART OF BLENDING IN

“With balance, beats, and rhythm, this heartfelt coming-of-age story is bridged together like a Coltrane riff under Frank Morelli’s skillful hand. ON THE WAY TO BIRDLAND and its cast of diverse, fully fleshed-out characters are now included among My Favorite Things.” Brenda Rufener, Author of SINCE WE LAST SPOKE and WHERE I LIVE

“A classic tale of choice and chance, with more twists than a Virginia mountain road, On the Way to Birdland is a guide to finding your true self by accepting that you are ‘completely destructible…desperate not
to get destroyed.’” —Valerie Nieman, author of TO THE BONES and BACKWATER (Fitzroy, 2022)

Book Trailer:

Excerpted from On the Way to Birdland (Morelli p. 272-273)

The cops are gathered now. They see I’m cornered, so they move in. They talk to me in soft tones, imploring me not to do anything stupid, trying not to spook me over the edge. But I have no choice. I lift myself up on the railing and stand straight, allowing the rubber soles of my Chucks to bend around the curve of the top bar. I wobble and then catch my balance before I fall to my death. The diners gasp in one collective breath. Something reverberates down from the domed ceiling above. An echo. No, a voice:

Breathe, Cordy!

You’re coming back.

You’re almost …

And then it’s gone. Just the buzz of frightened diners and the urging of the police officers telling me not to jump. But I want to jump. I have to jump. For Christ’s sake, if I don’t jump I’ll never see Birdland and I’ll never prove to anyone I can finish what I started—and I’ll never be able to recall this journey as anything other than an enormous failure.

The officers move in. They surround me. My only option is to go. Over the edge. There’s nothing more I can do.

“Don’t do it, son,” one of the officers says when my intention becomes clear to him. “It’s not worth it. You’re gonna be in real bad shape if you make that choice.”

The muscles in my legs twitch and jerk as I steady myself on the rail. I bend at the knees. Get myself in position. Think about how my body felt as it flipped and spun through the air on its descent from a moving train car. Surely it couldn’t be worse than that. Could it?

“Come on, son,” the officer says, softer and more contrite than before. “Step down off that rail. Be smart.”

I bend down to my ankles, feel the torque build in my thighs and tense up in my knees. I’m ready. Just one breath and I’ll spring out over the cafe and hope for the best. Hope for the best. I’ll just hope for the best.

“Don’t do it, son!”

I spin around. My Chucks touch down on the floor of the restaurant. Three of the officers grab me and pull me away from the railing. The commotion, of voices and cutlery and glasses rattling on trays, builds to a deafening crescendo and then all goes silent. All goes blurry. The voices pour down from the celestial ceiling in echoes only I can hear:

He’s not there yet he’s

He’s almost. . . no! NO!!

CORDDDDDDDDDDDDDY!!

 

About Frank Morelli:

Frank Morelli is the author of the young adult novel, No Sad Songs (2018), a YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers nominee and winner of an American Fiction Award for best coming of age story. The first book in his debut middle grade series, Please Return To: Norbert M. Finkelstein (2019) is a Book Excellence Award finalist and provides young readers with a roadmap to end bullying. His fiction and essays have been featured in various publications including The Saturday Evening Post, Cobalt Review, Philadelphia Stories, and Highlights Magazine.

A Philadelphia native, Morelli now resides in High Point, NC with a brilliant
illustrator and his fur babies. Connect with him on Twitter @frankmoewriter and
on Instagram @frankmorelliauthor.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of ON THE WAY TO BIRDLAND, US Only.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

5/24/2021

Rockstar
Book Tours

Kickoff Post

5/25/2021

Two
Chicks on Books

Excerpt

5/26/2021

Jaime’s
World

Excerpt

5/27/2021

Jaimerockstarbooktours

Instagram Post

5/28/2021

YA Books
Central

Guest Post

Week Two:

5/31/2021

Fire and Ice

Review 

6/1/2021

Living
in a Bookworld

Guest Post

6/2/2021

Rajiv’s Reviews

Review 

6/3/2021

@pagesofyellow

Review 

6/4/2021

@barbs_bookland

Review 

Week Three:

6/7/2021

Sj_bookshelf

Review 

6/8/2021

The
Keysmash Blog

Review 

6/9/2021

Dorky
Girl and Skeletor

Excerpt

6/10/2021

The
Obsessed Reader

Excerpt

6/11/2021

Lady Hawkeye

Excerpt

Week Four:

6/14/2021

I’m Shelfish

Excerpt

6/15/2021

A
Dream Within A Dream

Excerpt

6/16/2021

Satisfaction
for Insatiable Readers

Guest Post

6/17/2021

For the Love
of KidLit

Excerpt

6/18/2021

The Momma
Spot

Excerpt


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