Posted by: Kathy Temean | December 21, 2017

Book Giveaway: HUSHED by Joanne MacGregor

When I read Joanne MacGregor new YA cross-over book, HUSHED I asked Joanne if she would like be to featured with her book and she has agreed to give away a copy to one lucky winner. I really enjoyed HUSHED – fun story, great characters, and good writing. I don’t know how many people reading this post buy Kindle books, but if you do, you might want to try KINDLE UNLIMITED. You get the first month free. It costs $9.99 each month after that, but you can cancel if you don’t like it. I took my free trial and canceled. Now, when I see a book I’d like to read that is on KINDLE UNLIMITED (most are $3.99 or $4.99), I put it on my wishlist and when I get around five, I sign up for the month and read them. I always read more books than that, so I pick other free books to read and I have discovered so many good books by authors I didn’t know. That’s how I discovered Joanne. The fun thing is now I’m open to reading more of their books. So I thought I would share my strategy so you might give it a try and enjoy getting to know more authors, too.

All you have to do to get in the running for HUSHED is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Check back to discover the winner.

Book description:

She’s in love, out of her depth and in danger of losing herself.

When 18-year-old Romy Morgan saves Hollywood superstar Logan Rush from drowning, she’s offered a job as his personal assistant. In exchange for entering the exciting world of the movies, she strikes a deal to reinvent herself from top to toe, and love sparks between her and Logan. But the movie set is a world of illusion, where appearances don’t match reality, and Romy soon discovers that she’s traded her voice for love, and is in real danger of losing both her dreams and her self-respect.

When she discovers a dreadful secret with the power to destroy Logan, Romy must choose between love and revenge.

Hushed delivers enchanting romance with all the feels, plus a good twist of humor, and a subtle nod and a wink to The Little Mermaid. This contemporary young adult novel makes great reading for fans of Kasie West, Stephanie Perkins, Jenny Han, Sarah Dessen, Morgan Matson and Julie Buxbaum.

Dive into Hushed today for an exciting feel-good romance that’ll hook your heart, head and funny-bone!


I love fairy tales – I think they capture some of the most important elements of the universal human story. I especially like the original stories, before the Grimm brothers tidied them up and dumbed them down so they would fit Victorian sensibilities of what women and children should be like. I’ve enjoyed the original tales in Andrew Lang’s collections of fairy tales, and reveled in the wildness of Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes which explores how fairy tales were originally the oral tradition of women, passing down the accumulated wisdom of the ages to their daughters.

In my day job, I’m a psychologist, and I use a lot of myths and metaphors in my therapy, because they carry valuable life lessons. Many of the classic fairy tales incorporate what Carl Jung called the archetypes of the collective unconscious – symbols that cross cultures and that we can all relate to, like the poor, unloved orphan or the young hero on a quest. There’s even a school of psychology (Transactional Analysis) that tries to identify your “life script” (your unconscious plan for your life) by asking you what your favorite childhood fairy tale or story character was.

Mine was The Little Mermaid by Hans Christiaan Andersen (written hundreds of years before Disney’s version). I had a board book with pictures that appeared to move and ripple as you turned them this way and that. The princess was so kind and good, the price so handsome (and rich, hehe!), and the story so sad! I used to love to read it and cry at the injustice of it all – how the prince has no idea who the mermaid is, how the other princess snatches him up and marches him down the aisle, how the mermaid’s goodness goes unrewarded. (In the original version, there is no last minute-miracle to ensure the hero and heroine get each other.)

I don’t know why this story spoke to me so deeply, but it did and it has lodged in my brain all these years. As an adult, I saw some of the deeper themes – how we sacrifice ourselves for love, how we can overlook the wonder of what is in front of our nose, and how goodness doesn’t always triumph. What interested me the most was how, in the fairy tale, the mermaid literally gives up her voice for love, because it seems to me that even in the modern world, far too many young women shush themselves, suppress their own ambitions and ignore their own needs, while they support the men they fall in love with. So, this idea of losing your identity and your voice when you fall in love was one I wanted to explore in one of my Young Adult romances.

I write contemporary romance, not fantasy, so writing about actual mermaids and princes was never going to be for me. I was intrigued by the idea of writing a fairy tale retelling or reinterpretation set in a modern, realistic world, with no fantasy elements.

My heroine would be a wonderful, good-hearted young woman who gives too much in love. But who should my prince be. I knew I didn’t want him to be a literal prince — that’s been done many times already — so what is the real-world equivalent of royalty?

I started writing the book at the time when the Twilight and Harry Potter phenomenons were at fever-pitch. Like half the world, I feel in love with Robert Pattinson, and I watched, spellbound, as he was sucked into the celebrity machine, made over and spat out. Overnight, he lost all privacy and, in a way he, too, lost his voice. It seemed to me that modern superstars also have a trade-off for fame and fortune, and I wondered how they really felt about that.

I decided to make my hero a “prince” of Hollywood, and explore this crazy world. My heroine would be a girl of the sea, figuratively speaking, who saves him from drowning in the ocean, and from being lost to the madness of celebrity. And that’s where Hushed was born!

I had enormous fun making connections between the original tale and my story, so there are “Easter eggs” for the sharp-eyed reader in the names of characters, the language and expressions they use, and in the story itself. I set it in Cape Town, South Africa, where a lot of movies are filmed, so that I could literally have these two characters from different worlds, and that added lots of interesting elements, too.

Of course, my book differs from the original – it’s a lot funnier, for one thing, and even if I do say so myself, it has a much better ending! In the original tale, the mermaid resists killing the prince (now married to another woman) with a dagger while he sleeps — a move which would have allowed her to return to mermaid form — and instead hurls herself into the ocean and turns into sea-foam. How awful is that? Under pressure from Victorian moralists, Andersen changed the ending so that she becomes a sea spirit and if she does good deeds for an eon, she’ll be rewarded by earning a soul. Yeah, no.

I had to be clever about the stabbing and the hurling into the ocean, the good deeds and the soul, but I’m sure modern readers will find the ending very satisfying!


When not writing, Joanne Macgregor is a counselling psychologist in private practice where she works mainly with victims of crime and trauma.

Although she lives in the frenetic adrenaline-rush of the big city, Joanne has always been in love with nature, and escapes into the wilds whenever she can. She’s a Harry Potter fanatic, bakes the best choc-chip cookies on the planet, and is addicted to chilies and bulletproof coffee.

She started her professional life as a high school English teacher and loves writing about, and for, teens. She is the author of several books for Young Adults, including The Law of Tall Girls, Hushed, Recoil, Refuse, Rebel, Scarred, and – for younger YA readers – Turtle Walk, Rock Steady and Fault Lines.

Author website:
Twitter: @JoanneMacg

Thank you Joanne for sharing your book and its journey with us. I know the winner will really enjoy your book.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. I too love fairytales and am familiar with the psychological implications they entail, as I taught Children’s Literature for many years. I also write retold fairytales in a contemporary or futuristic setting and would love to own a copy of Hushed for my collection. 🙂


  2. I find that I enjoy YA books more than my teenaged granddaughter. This story sounds really great.


  3. Ooooh, would love to sink my teeth into a YA fairy tale 🙂


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